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International Programme 2016
Cabbage, Potatoes and Other Demons Șerban Georgescu

A ton of cabbage for 20 Euros: the peasants in the Romanian community of Lunguleţu underbid each other with the prices for their products. Is there a way out of this dead end?

Cabbage, Potatoes and Other Demons

Documentary Film
62 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alex Iordăchescu, Șerban Georgescu, Heino Deckert
Șerban Georgescu
Vlad Blîndu
Bogdan Slăvescu
Șerban Georgescu
Șerban Georgescu
Alex Iosub
In the small town of Lunguleţu in Southern Romania there are around 1,000 farmers who own the same number of tractors and produce 100,000 tons of cabbage and potatoes per year. Every one of these thousand farmers will then stand on the local market square in summer after the potato harvest and in late autumn after the cabbage harvest, sacks of cabbage and potatoes piled up in huge pyramids as far as the eye can see. Any attempt to make a profit by selling the produce is, of course, in vain in view of this absurd overproduction. The diligent farmers underbid each other until they end up either losing money or ploughing the harvest under right away.

When director Şerban Georgescu buys a ton of white cabbage for his mother for 20 Euros here, he begins to wonder and decides to spend a year in Lunguleţu and cultivate cabbage and potatoes himself. He investigates why the farmers voluntarily enter this economic dead end. Even though the mayor and a few villagers have some good ideas for finding a way out of this misery, a common solution is not in sight. The suspicion among them sits deep and the fear of any kind of cooperative is great – the memories of expropriation under Ceauşescu are still too fresh, potential success by competition seems too tempting, even if they are threatened by bankruptcy every day.

Lina Dinkla