Radu Jude starts shooting period drama Aferim!
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The film tackles Gypsy slavery in 19th-century Romania
It's hard to find a more interesting Romanian project expected in 2015: one of the very few Romanian films set in the 19th century, Radu Jude's Aferim! has all the signs of becoming a festival hit and an interesting domestic release. The €1.25 million project produced by HiFilm Productions and co-produced by Klas Film (Bulgaria), Endorfilm (Czech Republic) and EZ Films (France) started shooting last week and is expected to wrap at the end of the month.
Aferim! requires an impressive production effort (a village fair and an inn were built from scratch in the vicinity of Bucharest), as it is set in the 19th century, when a local policeman, Costandin, is hired by Iordache, a boyar, to find Carfin, a Gypsy slave who had run away from the boyar's estate after having an affair with his wife, Sultana. Costandin sets out to find the fugitive, beginning a journey full of adventures.
Costandin is played by Teodor Corban (the actor's second main character in 2014, after having been selected by Radu Muntean for his One Floor Below, see news), while Carfin will be played by Toma Cuzin. Mihaela Sîrbu (Everybody in Our Family [+see also:
interview: Radu Jude
film profile]), Mihai Comănoiu and Alberto Dinache also play important parts. The screenplay was written by Jude together with Florin Lăzărescu, and Marius Panduru is the film's DoP.
Aferim! (a Turkish word which means “Bravo!”) may prove controversial in Romania, a country which is struggling to integrate minorities into society. Although historians have thoroughly confirmed the existence of Gypsy slavery for as many as seven centuries in the country’s history, it is not a very popular topic in modern times.
The film seems perfectly designed for a world premiere in the Berlinale competition, two years after producer Ada Solomon won the Golden Bear for Călin Peter Netzer's Child's Pose [+see also:
interview: Calin Peter Netzer