Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Way I Spent the End of the World

by Drew Martin
Regretfully, my time living and traveling around Eastern Europe between 1992-1997 did not include any moments in Romania. I stuck to Slavic lands and was a little intimidated by a language with names such as Ceauşescu, even more than I was by the mess this man made of his country.

Romania had and extreme non-Soviet communist regime that ended in a bloody revolution in December of 1989 and left more than a thousand people dead. It was, in fact, the last Eastern bloc government to tumble and the only one that was forced by a physical overthrow of the uprising people, which resulted in the execution of 
Nicolae Ceauşescu.

One reason why I wish I had spent time in Romania is because I have really appreciated the wit and quirkiness that I have seen of its people in the past year through films such as Tales from a Golden Age.

Last night I finished watching The Way I Spent the End of the World (Cum mi-am petrecut sfârşitul lumii) by Romanian director Cătălin Mitulescu, which is a remarkable depiction of life under communism as experienced by the 
17-year-old character Eva Matei played by Dorotheea Petre.

It takes place in 1989 and feels like it was made in 1990 but to my surprise it was created as recent as 2006. The details in the choice of actors and their expressions, the atmosphere of the locations, and the accuracy of the clothing and sets evokes a really specific feeling. It made me think a lot about how there is a present world of possibilities that one can explore through travel, and then there is this world of the past that you cannot move to but have to get as close to it as possible with books or films like this one.