Docuart Fest is a documentary film festival exclusively dedicated to Romanian documentaries and its 7th edition took place in November, 2018. It has a team of young, enthusiastic professionals and you can feel those vibes at every step once you start attending the screenings. It is one of the examples of why Bucharest is an amazing city to live in. You can enjoy festivals that tell you about the lives of people who you have never met; you look into their lives and sometimes, even their souls.
This year’s selection was well-blended with all kinds of genres and subjects and created space for very interesting discussions. In this article, I will write about two films from the festival that have especially impressed me.
Caisa (2018) 82’
The film focuses on the relationship between a young boxer (with a nickname “Caisa” meaning apricot in Romanian) and his trainer, Mr. Dobre. When I first read the synopsis, I thought it would be hard for me to enjoy the film since my interest in boxing is very close to zero but the amazing work of Alexandru Mavrodineanu (the director) amazed me to an unexpected level.
“Caisa” manages to bring the essence of human fears, hopes and struggles to the surface. The young boy doesn’t speak so much but you can feel the intensity in his eyes and on his somewhat strict face expression. His family is struggling financially and the boy has to split his time and energy between earning for his family and his passion for boxing. On the other hand, his veteran trainer (renowned one in Romania) has big hopes for the kid and faces the fear of being abandoned by his most talented disciple.
I highly recommend the film to anyone who is interested in human nature and the struggles we all have to deal with.
After the screening, we had an opportunity for a Q&A session and it was an honor to listen Mr. Dobre speak about his feelings, hopes and regrets. Especially, since he is a person who inspires so many young sportsmen and women and has a lot of interesting stories to tell.
Brasov 1987. Two Years Too Soon (2017) 90’
The events that took place in Brasov in 1987 were part of a very spontaneous resistance to the communist system that spread sparkle among people despite the regime trying to hide it as much as possible. Estimated number of 10 000 people participated in the anti-regime march in the streets of Brasov after a few truck-factory workers found out about their severe salary cuts. Several dozens of those who participated in the protest were tortured for weeks. 61 people were deported to different cities of Romania.
What made the film captivating for me is the way the director decided to transmit the information to spectators. People who have participated in the protest more than 30 years ago tell about the events of that evening. It is amazing how in detail each of them remembers everything and everybody’s stories are surprisingly in line with each other. This can obviously be explained by the simple fact that those memories are very emotional for everyone, so, automatically, they became memorable as well. Even though many of them realized they were risking tremendously, their rage and dissatisfaction with Causescu’s regime was too strong and they decided to join the protest.
The film also shows disappointment of some people who have participated in 1987 protests back then due to Romania’s present political situation and gives birth to a discussion of what the future is holding for Romanian citizens.
There’s no doubt I will try to attend Docuart Fest in 2019 as well since it gives me the opportunity to get to know the Romanian people and reality even better. It has truly become my second home after 3.5 years of living there. See you soon, Bucharest!