The Rest is Silence set to make history at home
by Toma Peiu
Opening weekend went well for mainstream epic The Rest is Silence [+see also:
film profile], Romanian director Nae Caranfil’s fifth feature. The film came in third, its 5,000 admissions placing it right after US blockbusters Jumper and The Water Horse.
Set in Bucharest from 1911-1917, Caranfil’s story is both local and universal, in the good old sense of classic Hollywood cinema, as it practically builds a whole new legend around the making of the first Romanian feature ever, The Independence of Romania (1912).
The film is an impressive mix of styles and genres, with comedy, drama and epic combining to tell a wonderful coming-of-age story. Not only the coming of age of the main characters – teenage director Grig Ursache (Marius Florea Vizante) and producer Leon Negrescu (Ovidiu Niculescu) – but also the coming of age of cinema, Romania and Europe before, heading for and during WWI.
The Rest is Silence is not the typical low-budget-social drama one would expect from this part of the continent, as producer Cristian Comeaga puts it. At €2.43m, this super-production is the most expensive all-Romanian movie ever made.
However, despite its selection in competition at Locarno last year and a series of special screenings at various other festivals – including last November at Thessaloniki, where Caranfil’s movies were honoured with a special section – the film has failed to snag a foreign distributor. Nevertheless, Comeaga is hoping to find a top international sales agent to sell the film to broadcasters abroad.