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Stere Gulea currently shooting The Moromete Family 3


- The film explores a troubled chapter in Romanian history, almost never seen before on screen

Stere Gulea currently shooting The Moromete Family 3
Alex Călin in The Moromete Family 3

In a small film industry where movie franchises are almost non-existent, Romanian director Stere Gulea is currently shooting The Moromete Family 3, which will round off a trilogy that started in 1987 with a film, The Moromete Family, that is widely considered one of the best Romanian features ever and probably the best Romanian adaptation. After the second instalment, 2018’s Moromete Family: On the Edge of Time [+see also:
film review
film profile
, the third part is again being staged by Libra Film Productions, with Oana Bujgoi Giurgiu and Tudor Giurgiu serving as producers.

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If the first two parts were adaptations of novels written by Marin Preda, the third is loosely inspired by the writer’s diaries and articles. The screenplay, written by Gulea, follows Nicolae, the youngest son of the family, who in 1955 is a promising writer. But the communist leaders insist that all artists should sing the praises of the “new world” they are creating, so Nicolae will soon have to make a difficult choice, given that the writers unwilling to support the regime remained ignored and unpublished, or were even persecuted.

The film’s budget amounts to €1.6 million, with circa €500,000 coming from the Romanian National Film Center. The picture will be shot throughout the year, mainly in a village in Southern Romania where the first two films were shot, but also in Bucharest and Sinaia. DoP Vivi Drăgan Vasile, who lensed the first parts of the trilogy in black and white, returns behind the camera. Nicolae is played by Alex Călin, and Horaţiu Mălăele plays his father, the protagonist of the first two films. Mara Bugarin, Olimpia Melinte, Iulian Postelnicu, Răzvan Vasilescu, Dana Dogaru, Oana Pellea and Toma Cuzin play supporting characters.

Libra Film Productions has recently produced several features that explore the past, including Tudor Giurgiu’s Freedom (formerly known as Sibiu ’89 – see the news) and Oana Bujgoi Giurgiu’s documentary feature Occasional Spies, which is currently nominated in four categories at the 2023 Gopo Awards. The producer tells Cineuropa that she is quite interested in “disentangling history. […] Cinema can do that, and by following the destinies of various people, it is easier to connect with those times. I still hope that we can learn something from the past and that, by understanding history, we can try not to make the same mistakes.”

Although he emphatically describes his film as a fiction, Stere Gulea tells Cineuropa: “I tried to understand or to guess Marin Preda’s itinerary, and I tried to observe this essential journey, but by using fiction. Of course, one can discover in the story specific, real elements from the years 1954 and 1955. I liked the idea of making a film about those times which are now mostly ignored; many events that happened then influenced the decades that followed, and we still feel their repercussions,” the director explains.

Transilvania Film will release The Moromete Family 3 domestically in the autumn of 2024.

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