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Area Handbook for Romania
written by "Bernier, Donald W."
...ission by the replaced managers of having favored artistic merit over ideological value in the selection of plays for their repertory. The new managers pledged themselves to presenting plays that contain a clear-cut message conforming to high political, ideological, and educational standards. They also pledged themselves to encourage young playwrights to write such plays. In the meantime, the plays selected for the 1971-72 season were almost all true and tried classics, devoid of any political implications. Romanian directors, nevertheless, have shown themselves in the past to be able to impart to the audience a great deal of political meaning through their interpretation of such seemingly innocuous plays. [Pg 103]FILMS The film industry has a long and venerable history dating back to 1912, when the first full-length feature was produced. The silent comedies of the 1920s compare favorably with those produced by the best film makers of the time. In the 1930s and 1940s, until the communist takeover, Romanian musicals and tales of suspense and of the supernatural were popular at home and abroad. Most of these films were produced with technical and financial assistance from France and other countries (see ch. 11). Cultural restrictions in the 1950s and early 1960s prevented the Romanian film industry from taking part in the technical and artistic developments that were changing the film industry in France and other Western countries. As a result, films produced in Romania as late as 1970 were technically and artistically old-fashioned compared to those produced in noncommunist countries and even in Czechoslovakia. Most critics outside the country compare them to the good films produced by Hollywood in the 1940s. Nevertheless, several Romanian films in the 1960s have won prizes at lesser known international film festivals. Two of the important directors in the late 1960s were Mircea Dragan and Ion Popescu-Gopo. Dragan specializes i...

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