23rd Annual Minneapolis - St. Paul International Film Festival

The Great Communist Bank Robbery (Non-fiction Features)
2004 - Romania - 75 min

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DIRECTOR: Alexandru Solomon

In 1959 there was robbery at the Romanian National Bank in Bucharest. This was a peculiar occurrence since the local currency (the lei) could only be spent inside Romania, and bank robberies, along with most other kinds of crimes, were presumed not to happen in a socialist country. The Romanian police scoured the country and ultimately arrested six people who they declared to be guilty. After confessing, the robbers agreed to re-enact their crime. An hour-long film was made in which they duly played themselves. There is some evidence that they thought by so doing they would be spared a death sentence. But after trial, also filmed, they were shot. Alexandru Solomon's film is both a bizarre recreation of a crime of which the motive is still difficult to fathom and an astonishing evocation of a lost world of Romanian Stalinism. It may not have been pleasant to live in 1950s Romania, but the images in the film have an eerie beauty. Alexandru Solomon filmmaker, cinematographer, video artist. He is a member of the Romanian Filmmakers’ Guild. 1986-1991 he studied at the camera department of Film and Theatre Academy in Bucharest. Since 1996 he has been an assistant Professor at the Art Academy in Bucharest. His film credits include A Dog’s Life (2001) and Everyday God Kisses Us on the Mouth (M-SPIFF 2002) Alexander Solomon AHS

PRODUCER: Tudor Giurgiu, Serge Lalou, Virginie Vallat
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Constantin Chelba
EDITOR: Sophie Reiter
US Premiere
PRINT SOURCE: LibraFilm Office

Saturday, April 02 3:30pm 6
Monday, April 11 5:30pm Lagoon Cinema