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The Rest is Silence set to make history at home


Opening weekend went well for mainstream epic The Rest is Silence [+see also:
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, 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).

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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.

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