Chuck Norris vs Communism

Ilinca Calugareanu

Irina Nistor became retrospectively famous as the voice of the Romanian revolution. As a young woman she lent her scratchy voice to five thousand pulp films, thus inspiring people to have subversive dreams behind the (Iron) curtain. Who could suspect that American action films on smuggled VHS tapes would topple the Communists?


In 1985, Romanian dictator Nikolai Ceausescu began his twentieth year as leader. There was a ban on travel, there were major food shortages and everyone was afraid of the Securitate, the dreaded secret service. As a form of resistance against this oppressive regime, people started organising evenings where invited guests could watch video tapes smuggled from abroad for a small fee. It was exciting, because watching 'imperialist films' was illegal. Even though a VCR was pricey - as expensive as a car - this was an attractive alternative to the propaganda broadcast on state TV. By watching American action films with Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme, among others, a generation of Romanians gawked at the free West with its beautiful houses, full shops and latest fashions.
In Chuck Norris vs Communism, several people look back on that exciting era, including translator Irina Nistor and smuggler Teodor Zamfir.

More information

Filmmaker
Ilinca Calugareanu
Country
United Kingdom, Romania, Germany
Year
2015
Medium
DCP
Length
81
Language
Romanian
Producer
Mara Adina
Production Company
Vernon Films
Sales
Vernon Films
Writer
Ilinca Calugareanu
Cast
Ana Maria Moldovan
Website
http://www.chucknorrisvscommunism.co.uk