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Licu, a Romanian Story

Documentary Film
86 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ana Dumitrescu, Jonathan Boissay
Ana Dumitrescu
Ana Dumitrescu
Ana Dumitrescu
Jonathan Boissay
At the age of 92, Liviu Canţer, called Licu, has lived through the extremes of the 20th century in his home country of Romania – as an alert eye witness of the World War, expulsions, Ceauşescu’s industrialisation and surveillance, the revolution of 1989 and the corrupt post-communism at the margins of the EU, he has a lot of stories to tell. But being one of the last survivors of his generation he lacks contemporaries with whom he can share his experiences. Director Ana Dumitrescu takes time for him and his recollections. She keeps visiting Licu with her camera over the seasons. She films him in his house, where the family history is always present. Slowly the two develop a relationship – in the course of the film she turns from invisible observer to a visitor for whom Licu cooks and whom he offers homemade schnapps. He displays his photo archive. The happy and sad days are fairly balanced, but a certain resignation is obvious.

Dumitrescu, who grew up as a Romanian in France, creates an epic space for the history of her native country, at the centre of which we find Licu: a personal fate representing the tide of history. The black and white images, shot with minimum equipment, reveal her sensitivity as a photo journalist, which enables us to immerse ourselves in this man’s world.

Sirkka Möller

Golden Dove International Competition (long);
Nominated for MDR Film Prize