- In Retrospect
In the 1950s, the Romanian communist government decided to enforce a gender-egalitarian social system with a view to eliminating hierarchies between the sexes. In pursuit of the national interest, civil concepts like classic marriage should be replaced by equivalent partnerships, and women should carry out the same kind of hard tasks normally required of men. Such conceptions of an egalitarian ethos provide the backdrop to Jean Georgescu’s satire Our Director, where a factory’s staff epitomises the microcosm of an entire country. It soon turns out that aspiration and reality are worlds apart. The employees do not have a sense of commitment when their efforts are reduced to a patriotic duty. From the manager downwards, they are either lazy or intent on seeking their own benefits – or simply both. Not a single employee can be hailed as a hero of the working class. One day, the situation becomes dire when selected staff members are to be rewarded for their great achievements. To make matters worse, a woman dares to challenge the works management. As a result the manager fears the prospect of losing his privileges. Having criticised a sprawling bureaucracy and its officeholders, it is a miracle that a subversive film like this could escape widespread censorship.
Alexandru Alger, Gheorghe Angheluta, Stroe Atanasiu
Best of Classics
Romanian with Engl. sub.
16:00 Breitenseer Lichtspiele