Friday, April 28 – Thursday, May 4
Daily (except Sunday, April 30):
1:00 3:15 5:30 7:45
Sunday, April 30:
1:00 4:45 6:30 8:45
Directed by Lucian Pintilie
Starring Maia Morgenstern, Razvan Vasilescu, Victor Rebengiuc
In Romanian with English subtitles
Approx. 102 min. New 4K DCP Restoration.
In the most acclaimed Romanian movie of the 1990s, strong-willed school teacher Maia Morgenstern leaves Bucharest for a job in the countryside, toting her father’s ashes in a coffee can and encountering Razvan Vasilescu, “a cynic with an impish grin, who knows that the world has gone mad” (Anthony Lane). The two face trial after trial as they wend their way through the hellish Romanian landscape in the final days of Ceaușescu’s dictatorship.
Presented in association with the Making Waves festival. The 17th edition of Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema Festival is presented by Insula 42, in partnership with Metrograph, Roxy Cinema New York, DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema and Film Forum. With lead funding from the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the support of Dacin Sara, the Romanian Filmmakers Union, Blue Heron Foundation, Mastercard, the Romanian National Film Center, and individual donors.
A MAKING WAVES RELEASE
“[THE OAK] is Mr. Pintilie’s reaction to the 1989 collapse of the Communist regime in his country and his expectations for the future. It begins as a nightmare and ends with a vague expectation of the break of day… Mr. Pintilie seems to suggest that there is still hope for Romania, though it’s not just around the corner.”
– Vincent Canby, The New York Times
“This relentlessly bleak farce is a movie of imaginative hysteria that rattles with sustained fury. Set in the final years of Ceaucescu's dictatorship, Lucian Pintilie begins THE OAK in Bucharest with his hand-held camera finding the inhabitants of one particularly filthy sty watching home movies of Christmas past. The projected image—a little girl unmasking the Securitate man dressed as Santa and grabbing his gun to pretend to shoot the jovial bigwigs at a power elite party—is flanked by all manner of domestic detritus. The child in the home movie has apparently grown into the fabulously unkempt Nela, electrifyingly played by Maia Morgenstern, who lurches around the apartment, fussing over her decrepit father, a veteran Communist and Securitate colonel… As breathless as a fiddle break in a Romanian doina, THE OAK swirls around before ending with the greatest atrocity of all.”
– J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Opens Friday, April 28