The new Romanian cinema has been one of the unexpected surprises of the last five years. To quote from an article I found on the web “The notion that Romania could emerge as one of the most vibrant and exciting film-making centers in Europe, if not the world, would have seemed far-fetched a decade ago. And yet, in four short years a generation of remarkably talented young Romanian directors have produced an impressive body of films that have consistently landed at the top of international critics’ polls and in the coveted top tier of film festivals from Cannes to New York”. Some call it the “new wave of Romanian cinema”, some dispute the title, but one thing is clear and that is that for the last five years we’ve seen good movies come out of Romania, something that never happened before. Since most of the directors in this new wave are people in their 20s and 30s, there is hope that this trend will continue (although they’ll have to change the formula before it becomes stale). Most of the films are primarily concerned with the social aspects of the Romanian society and culture, with recovering the communist past seen through the eyes of its victims and with life in the new capitalism society. There’s irony, there’s tragedy, the movies are low budget and there are no special effects to speak of; but they’re heartfelt and they move you even though they probably won’t convince you to visit Romania (we have “Cold Mountain” to account for that 🙂 ). Some of the most known titles, which got international release, are: “The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu” (director Cristi Puiu, won Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival), “Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days” (director Cristian Mungiu, won Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival), “12:08 East of Bucharest” (director Corneliu Porumboiu, won Camera d’Or at Cannes Film Festival), “California Dreaming” (director Cristian Nemescu, won Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival), “Police, adjective” (director Corneliu Porumboiu, won Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival), “Tales from the Golden Age” (directors Hanno Höfer, Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu, Ioana Uricaru, Răzvan Mărculescu). The latest movie to win an award, the Silver Berlin Bear. is the one advertised by the poster in today’s photograph. The movie is called ” If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle” directed by Florin Şerban. I didn’t see it yet, so I can’t tell you if I liked it or not, but I plan to see it later this week.