The Dead Nation
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    The Dead Nation

    Țara moartă

    Directed by



    83 min

    • Romanian


    A documentary-essay, ȚARA MOARTă shows a collection of photographs from a small Romanian town in the 1930s and 1940s. The soundtrack, composed mostly of excerpts taken from the diary of a Jewish doctor from the same era, depicts what the photographs do not: the rising of antisemitism and eventually the harrowing depiction of the Romanian persecution of the Jews, a subject rarely talked in contemporary Romania.


    • Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Award - Trieste FF



    Catalin Cristutiu

    Director's Statement

    This is my most overt political and philosophical film. It is political, because it touches a theme which is not usually addressed in our society: the anti-Semitism and the mass killing of the Jewish population during the war, especially on the Eastern front. Until recent years, Romanians used to blame the Germans for it; still, despite the fact that the writings of many historians showed that Romania has its responsibility in the Holocaust (according to Raul Hilberg, the number of the victims is around 400.000), in the collective consciousness of our nation the things didn't change. I felt the need to address this subject, because I am a Romanian and I feel it is an important and urgent theme, since we see the return of extremism in the whole Europe. It is also a philosophical film, a special kind of found-footage film, which tries to show the limits and the problems of the visual representation of reality, especially of History. A photograph shows us something and in the same time hides what is outside its frame...



    The Dead Nation is a disarmingly simple idea, executed with a bold artistic flair that straddles experimental and more traditional documentary techniques

    Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter

    Radu Jude

    Radu Jude


    I think that cinema has this quality, to see things from a certain distance, a quality which can offer to a viewer the possibility of looking at something told in an objective way and to form his/her own opinion

    Radu Jude is a Romanian director and screenwriter. He studied filmmaking in Bucharest and started his career as an assistant director. In 2006, he made the short film THE TUBE WITH THE HAT, winner of more than 50 international awards. Jude's feature debut THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (2009) was selected for more than 50 international film festivals. Titles such as AFERIM, SCARRED HEARTS and EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY followed and won multiple awards: Silver Bear for Best Director in Berlinale 2015, Special Jury Prize in Locarno 2016 and an EFA nomination for Best Scriptwriter. The international premiere of THE DEAD NATION in Locarno 2017 marked his debut in documentary film. His feature I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS (2018) won the Crystal Globe for Best Film and Label Europa Cinema Prize in Karlovy Vary. Recent films are UPPERCASE PRINT (2020) and THE EXIT OF THE TRAINS (2020). His latest is BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN (2021) was selected at Berlinale.

    Selected Filmography