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Cultural Diversities East and West: Postcommunism, Postcolonialism and Ethnicity

Central European University, 22 July-2 August 2002

Film show: MARAMURES, , July 30, 19:00-20:50



Directed by

Fabrizio Scapin

10 rue Léon – 75018 PARIS – tel. 0155791680 France

Read more about Fabrizio Scapin

Production Dominique Belloir— Mirage Illimité
31, rue Linné, 75005 Paris
teléfax: +31 1 45 35 39 98 (read more about the film, in French)
Hi8 camera Andrea Calderini
DV camera Fabrizio Scapin
Editor Nicolas Défossé
Sound mix Nicolas Joli
Length 57 minutes
Original format DV – Hi8
Distribution format BETACAM SP
Also available as mini-DV.
Completion date November 2000
Original language Romanian, French
Sub-titles English
Featuring Claudia and Nelu Herteg, bunica Maria, Petru, Mitica and Prof. Vasile Latis
  • Second Prize (ex-aequo) at the Festival of the Italian Documentary — Libero Bizzarri, 2001 (read more, in Italian)
  • Commendation Maremma Film Festival, 2001.
  • Trieste Film Festival, 2001
  • Torino Film Festival 2000 (read more, in Italian)
It’s Christmas, we are in North Romania at the end of 1999. Nelu, a student, lives in Baia Mare, a mining town at the foot of the Carpatian Mountains; Petru, a violin-player, lives a few kilometres away in Valeni, a village beyond the mountains. This is the land of the Maramures, an ancient people which has managed to preserve its identity through the ages, whilst integrating certain outside elements from numerous invaders. Amongst those that have left their trace, the Romans, the Turks and most recently the Ceausescu dictatorship.

The Maramures have kept their unique rhythm of life and particular concept of time ; one that is difficult to find beyond the mountains which separate them from the rest of Romania. At certain key times of the year, like the days from Christmas to the New Year, for example, ancient customs are practised in the villages ; a mixture of orthodox religion and pagan influences, which have survived to the present day. This resilient people is today confronted with major changes : after the revolution in 1989, the West, with its market economy, has effected a violent incursion throughout Romania. A lot of young people dream of leaving ; quitting the mountains to go to university in the towns, or perhaps emigrating to Western Europe in search of more profitable work. Work which, one day, will enable them to return home…

This is a Europe they have seen on television ; that box of dreams, technological totem, vector of faraway ways of seeing, images and words belonging to another universe, another imagination. Some have decided to stay put, to try to construct something on their own territory.

Nelu and his wife, Claudia, Petru and bunica (Grandma) Maria, accompany us in our discovery of this part of Romania, once known as Dacia Libera, because the Roman invaders who never succeeded in penetrating it.

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