In the Romanian village time passes differently as life is uncomfortable and strenuous. But the city does not offer any better alternatives because of its inhospitable, post-soviet structure that is in a constant transition to capitalism. There is a common beat in the hearts of everyone, that of an oppressive past and a complicated future. Happiness appears in glimpses for those that never stop believing in it, be they a crooked chicken or a rejected musical talent.
across the bridge towards the east is a curation of some of the most essential films of the Romanian New Wave by Rotterdam based artist Geo Barcan. In broad terms, the movement is characterised by its social-realist themes, dark humour and societal critique, encompassing a great majority of films made from the beginning of the early 2000s until now.
As the Romanian society is distilled around two main vectors, the city and village, the selected films present the complex organisation of both, in all their beauty, joy, tragedy and absurdism. across the bridge towards the east is a journey from the village to the city, or vice-versa.
Music in the Blood
Alexandru Mavrodineanu, 2010, 16 min.
Petre works as a night watchman. During the day, Petre is trying to introduce his son, Robert, to the manele music industry. Petre is sure that his boy is a natural-born talent with music in his blood. During an audition held by a well-known manager, Robert misses his shot at becoming a star, but on the way home he gets one more chance to express himself.
Marian Crisan, 2008, 14 min.
It’s Maxim birthday. He’s 8 years old. He lives with his mother in a village quite far from the nearest city. For his birthday, his mother takes him to a McDonald’s restaurant.
A Night in Tokoriki
Roxana Stroe, 2016, 18 min.
In an improvised night club called "Tokoriki" the whole village celebrates Gianina’s 18th birthday. Her boyfriend and Alin will give her a most surprising gift, one that nobody will ever forget.
Andrei Epure, 2021, 21 min.
Several residents discover an unconscious woman lying in front of the block. Even though she ives on the third floor, nobody knows her name. While waiting for rescue, the neighbours reflect on her life and their own.
Ioana Turcan, 2021, 15 min.
Alexandra, early 20s, living with her mother and her mentally disabled brother, works at a textile factory in communist Romania. Because of the anti-abortion decree, women are used to the monthly gynecological check-ups. But this time, a surprise “parade” forces Alexandra to take a drastic decision.
When The Night Meets Dawn
Andreea Bortun, 2022, 19 min.
A teenage boy goes looking for his new friend on the hot streets of an eerie city. As the blue night falls, a sensual journey begins. Nature around him becomes exotic and the exotic becomes erotic. In the illuminating dawn he discovers he’s not like the rest.
Tudor Botezatu, 2017, 1 min, on loop
In a secluded village, an old couple is nurturing a crooked beak chicken.