Monday, 28 May 2007

Romanian Film Director Takes the Palme d’Or at Cannes

For the first time in the 60 years history of Cannes Film Festival a Romanian director is awarded the top prize at this prestigious European contest.
"It looks a little like a fairy tale. One year ago, we didn't have an idea for this project. Six months ago we didn't have the money to make it and finally, we were just hoping to be in Cannes in any kind of competition" said Mungiu, receiving the prize from Jane Fonda. "You don't necessarily need a big budget or a lot of stars to make stories," he added. He took Palme d’Or for his second feature (the first one was “Occident” released in 2002) “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days”. Mungiu believes this is good news for low budget productions and young directors "You don't necessarily need a big budget or a lot of stars to make stories."
Cristi’s family was in Iasi, his hometown in Romania, watching TV when he was announced as the winner of Cannes grand prix. They are very proud of him especially because he is the first Romanian after so many years to take a prize of such importance.
Oleg Mutu, the image director, says becoming a winner at Cannes is the result of their efforts during the last few years.

The Plot
In broad lines the film film tells the story of a young woman seeking an illegal abortion during the year 1987, when the communist regime in Romania began to loose its strength. “4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days” is the story of two students who share the same room on a campus in Iasi. The action proceeds in 1987. Gabiţa (Laura Vasiliu) and Otilia (Anamaria Marica, winner of a BAFTA prize) are sexually exploited and abused by a doctor, Bebe (Vlad Ivanov). The plot is based on strong sexual images and on the terrible practice of illegal abortion before the fall of the communist regime. In 1987 it was against the law to seek an abortion and Bebe blackmails the two women just to cover such an action he was about to undertake. According to AFP the director presents the most shocking scenes such as rapes or the abortion and even shows a foetus.

Romanians at Cannes
Many good Romanian film directors have been awarded important prizes at Cannes during the recent years – Corneliu Porumboiu “Calatorie la oras” (Trip to the city), Cristi Puiu’s “Moartea domnului Lazarescu” (Mr. Lazarescu’s Death). The first prize a Romanian ever took at Cannes was awarded to Ion Popescu Gopo. In 1957 his “Short History” was awarded the prize for the best short film. In 1965 Liviu Ciulei’s “Padurea Spanzuratilor” was awarded the prize for the best direction.

This is not the last Romanian success at Cannes and all the signs forecast good chances for the young directors and producers who come now to overpass the “heavy artillery” of the cinema.

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin