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PRODUCTION Romania

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Mihaela Popescu in post-production with her first feature, Yet to Rule

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- The project is one of the very rare surrealist dramas coming from famously down-to-earth Romanian cinema

Mihaela Popescu in post-production with her first feature, Yet to Rule
Director Mihaela Popescu

One of the eight Romanian first features being released or wrapping post-production this year (read the news), Mihaela Popescu’s Yet to Rule is definitely one of the most promising and intriguing. A surrealist drama about the conflict between the rational and instinctive sides of a judge’s mind, the project is being produced by Saga Film, with Alexandru Teodorescu serving as producer.

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The screenplay, written by Popescu, follows a 40-year-old criminal-court judge and the challenges (a dying father, an unhappy marriage and petty cases) in his life. If this sounds like your average drama coming from the popular Romanian New Wave, it is not: there is a fight in the protagonist’s mind – a fight between the animal within, Andi, and the judge’s rational side, K. The two are played by Cuzin Toma (The Treasure [+see also:
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Aferim! [+see also:
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) and Dorotheea Petre (The Miracle of Tekir [+see also:
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). Other parts are played by Olimpia MelinteTeodor Corban and Liliana Mocanu.

The shooting of this €900,000 project took place in Bucharest last July, over 21 days, with Marius Panduru as DoP. The project is now in the editing room, with post-production expected to wrap in August. In 2014, Yet to Rule received approximately €305,000 in production support from the Romanian National Film Center.

The director tells Cineuropa that she wanted to explore the idea of justice, an idea that is especially attractive now, when dozens of corrupt politicians are sentenced to prison every month in Romania and hundreds of thousands of Romanians demand justice in the streets. Starting from a general, observational view of a judge in a courtroom, Popescu preferred a psychological approach, from within, a position that she conveyed through surrealist means. “I am sure the interpretation of the film will be a challenge, which pushes it into an unconventional area,” she says. 

The domestic release is planned for the second half of the year.

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