Romania 1988, 142 mins, feature film, black & white, Romanian with English subtitles
Q&A with director Stere Gulea, hosted by Larry Sherwin, EBRD Deputy Director of Communications and screen writer Mike Phillips
Cast: Victor Rebengiuc, Luminita Gheorghiu, Gina Patrichi, Dorel Visan, Mitica Popescu, Constantin Chiriac
Morometii (meaning the Moromete family) is an adaptation of the first volume of a modern classic of Romanian literature, bearing the same name, published in two volumes (1955 and 1967) by Marin Preda, who is rightly considered as one of the bestpost-WW2 Romanian novelists.
Ilie Moromete faces constant problems: his sister's nagging, taxes and the work in the fields, whilst his older sons, almost grown-up, are now showing signs of rebellion. The book on which the film is based famously starts with the phrase “time showed endless patience to the people”. Yet, in a period heralding irreversible changes, in between the two World Wars, the Moromete family is facing break-up. Ilie Moromete, a real ‘pater familias’, magisterially played by Victor Rebengiuc, feels this, and tries to cling to a way of life which – now we know – is doomed both by the impending war and by the communist regime the Soviets will install.
Time no longer has any patience and cracks have started to appear in the mesh of traditional peasant family. Film director Stere Gulea, taking over from Marin Preda, has managed to convey, through the character of Ilie Moromete, the archetype of the Romanian peasant.