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 (1977, Romania) directed a series of short films, The Tube with a Hat (2006, winner of the Short Filmmaking Award at 2007 Sundance) and Alexandra (2007). His debut feature, The Happiest Girl in the World (2009), was awarded the CICAE prize in the Berlinale Forum and was selected for over fifty film festivals. The film was released in cinemas in France, UK, Austria and Spain. His second feature film, Everybody in Our Family (2012), premiered in the Berlinale Forum, and received the Heart of Sarajevo FF Award, amongst others. His latest short films, Shadow of a Cloud (2013) and It Can Pass through the Wall (2014), were selected in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. The latter was awarded a Special Mention. World premiered in the 2015 Berlinale Competition, Jude’s third feature Aferim! was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director, Best Film and the Distribution Award at IndieLisboa, and has been at over sixty festivals. Also, Aferim! represents Romania for the Foreign Language Academy Award.

    Selected Filmography