This is a documentary essay composed entirely of archive photographs and documents of the first big massacre of the Jews in Romania: in the city of Iași, on the 29th of June 1941, more than 10.000 Jews were killed - first by bullets, than by asphyxiation in freight trains. The film, which is an attempt to use the montage of archive materials in order to offer a deep and special view of History, has two parts: The first part of the film could be titled "the encyclopaedia of the dead": photographs of the people who were eventually killed by the Romanian army and by civilians are accompanied by voices who recite the documents related to their fate in the massacre: witness accounts, testimonies from the post-war trials, interviews with survivors, private diaries etc. The second part, shorter, represents a montage of the remaining photographs of the actual massacre (taken mostly by the German soldiers who were in town).
- Radu Jude
- Adrian Cioflâncă
- Marius Panduru
- Cătălin Cristuțiu
Why a montage film with photographs and texts related to the Jassy pogrom of 1941? Because, as Georges Didi-Huberman shows, “Montage will precisely be one of the fundamental responses to this problem of the construction of historicity. As it has no simple orientation, montage evades theologies, montage escapes theologies, makes visible the remainders, the anachronisms, the encounters of contradictory temporalities that affect every object, every event, every person, every gesture. Thus, the historian gives up telling “a story”, but, by doing so, he succeeds in showing that history cannot go without all the complexities of time, all the layers of archaeology, all the dottings of the destiny."
- TASKOVSKI FILMS
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.
Adrian Cioflâncă is a historian. Director of the Wilhelm Filderman Center for the Study of Jewish History in Romania and a member of the Collegium of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives. Researcher with the A. D. Xenopol Institute of History (belonging to the Romanian Academy). He was a member of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania (2003-2004) and an expert in The Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (2006), co-author of the Final Reports of the two commissions. Since 2005, he has been a member of the Romanian Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (former Holocaust Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research). Tziporah Wiesel Fellow of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington (2009). Between 2010-2012, he was director of department in The Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile. He also authored studies in fields like the history of the Holocaust, history of communism, political violence, cultural history, the theory of history. Consultant for several movies and theatrical plays. His latest work is the documentary THE EXIT OF THE TRAINS (2020).