• Cannes win, a ‘confirmation’ for Romanian cinema: directors

    BUCHAREST, May 27, 2012 (AFP) – The prizes won by Cristian Mungiu’s film “Beyond the Hills” at the Cannes film festival Sunday are “a confirmation” for the Romanian cinema and actors, two figures of the Romanian new wave told AFP.

    “These prizes confirm the quality of Cristian Mungiu as a director”, Corneliu Porumboiu, one of the most famous Romanian directors told AFP in Bucharest.

    “The film is a good portrait of contemporary Romania”, he added.

    Mungiu had won the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 2007 for the chilling abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”. This year, he scooped the prize for best screenplay while his two main actresses shared the best actress prize.

    “But these prizes are also very important for the Romanian cinema”, Porumboiu, who won two prizes at Cannes in 2006 (Camera d’Or) and 2009 (Un Certain Regard), stressed.

    Romania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, has seen a new wave of directors emerge after the former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was ousted in 1989.

    For Cristi Puiu, who won the Cannes Un Certain Regard award in 2005 for “The death of Dante Lazarescu”, the best actress prize shared by Romanian beginners Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan means that “justice is being done to all Romanian actors”.

    “It confirms the quality of the Romanian dramatic art school”, he added.

    Romanian writer and former BBC journalist, Tatiana Niculescu-Bran whose books inspired Mungiu’s screenplay, told AFP she was “impressed and happy”, that a film that kept the spirit of her investigation on a deadly exorcim case “got prizes in Cannes”.

    “Beyond the Hills” is based on a true story that unleashed a media frenzy in 2005 when a young woman, Irina Cornici, died after an exorcism session to rid her of supposed demons in the remote Tanacu monastery of eastern Romania.

    But the film follows first and foremost the tragic fate of two girls who grew up in the notorious orphanages set up by Romanian dictator Ceausescu.

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