August 
 
film, directed by Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, actors: Tora Vasilescu and Serban Ionescu, 16'40", 2004 - 2007
August (Imposibila iubire/ Impossible Love)

The project is a fictional continuation of a Romanian film from the '80s, questioning the meanings of love during communism (Imposibila iubire, directed by Constantin Vaeni, protagonists played by Tora Vasilescu & Serban Ionescu, script based on the novel Intrusul/ The Intruder, written by Marin Preda). 25 years after the original film was made, T.O. Bobe, a writer from our generation, constructed textually a new situation in which the two protagonists exchange letters, telling what happened to them during these years of political changes in Romania. The fact that the novel was inspired by a real event and then the film had an open end, led us to the idea to try to reconnect these stories to present life, in an attempt to reflect on what happened to us as community.

Imposibila iubire, directed by Constantin Vaeni, actors: Serban Ionescu, Tora Vasilescu, Petre Nicolae, Amza Pellea, Magda Catone, Gheorghe Cozorici, 1983.

Ghosts return in Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor's latest film project, 'August', and they return as ghosts. 'August' revisits Constantin Vaeni's 'Impossible Love', a film made in 1983, a time of propagandistic apotheosis in Romania. There is an oscillation at the very narrative heart of 'Impossible Love', as it sketches an ill-fated love story that is interspersed with the grand fable of national construction, overwhelmed and obliterated by the communist discourse of building the future.
Deprived of narrative substance and not given the right to interiority, the protagonists of the love story come across as figments of propaganda, agitated victims of circumstance, their reactions preconditioned and politically over-determined: what is described as their affectivity is a texture of ideological conditioning and collectivized privacy. Scripted by the young writer T.O. Bobe, 'August' is the protagonists'/ actors' exchange of letters after their separation, but also after the 1989 Revolution, and a new episode in their inability to develop any meaningful ties to the world. Only language has changed - TV stardom, the fixtures that symbolize prosperity, drug abuse and ensuing violence make hasty appearances -, but this remains disquieting world, inhabited by people not afforded the 'technology' to explore what their lives might be or turn into, evacuees looking for points of insertion and contact.
Decades after the breakup and a change of political paradigm later, the two reproduce the false start the original film - true commedia dell'arte of industrial times -, unwittingly presented. The barriers to collective meaning are in place. People love, hate and are afraid, but they do so as schematic embodiments of inauspicious times, snapshots of historical symptoms. As opposed to a 'historical drama', where sentiment and conflict unfold on the background of societal transformation, here historical shifts tear apart the possibility of communication. This is the artists' microscopic exploration of the destruction of solidarity, while previous projects have looked at its desolate architectural landscapes.

Mihnea Mircan





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