Asta e

  • 92'
  • Romania
  • 2001
Personal documentary about today's Romania. The Romanian village Sulina is a long way from the civilised world. Ten years after the fall of Ceaucescu, the last remains of communism have disappeared, but nothing seems to have come in its place. The people live in great poverty and bravely bear their fate with or without a dose of black humour. For instance there is the married couple Toni and Varvara, both in their fifties, although they seem dozens of years older. They squabble all day, mainly about the odd jobs that the almost always drunk Toni 'forgets' to do. Then we have Nicu and Pal, two friends who live together in a cheerless bunker, where they dream in their bunk beds about women and a better life. During the day, they drag their boat over the frozen river to their nets, which are often just as empty as their lives. And there is 15yearold Ionut, who shares the house with his alcoholic father and earns a little on the side by stealing cable from rusty ships and selling the copper wire it contains.These all seem like ingredients for a sombre film, but Thomas Ciulei manages to prevent that. For instance in the hilarious scene when a paralytically drunk Varvara throws a bucket of potatoes, gathered with such difficulty, over the head of her husband. Or the scene when Ionut sings a moving song into the distance with unmistakable talent. In this way, a sharp and human portrait emerges of the village left behind on the road to progress.
Thomas Ciulei
Countries of production
Romania, Germany
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2002
Europolis Film, Thomas Ciulei
Ciulei Films
Thomas Ciulei
Thomas Ciulei
Alexandra Gulea