Speculative Ecologies: Romanian Experimental Films Retrospective

The history of Romanian experimental cinema went through a long, partial ideological eclipse, the artworks left uncovered being those that modern times needed. In time, overtly subversive, then allegorical films reappeared on various screens, one after another, placing a high value on their anti-communist verve. Nobody was wrong by doing so, but our turn has come, and, foremost, we’re going to change the rules of the game. This retrospective, for which we considered Romanian films produced until 2012, keeping ourselves a decade away, took shape through a specific theme, ecology, to which the chosen films answered each in its manner. It would be wrong to say that, given the choice, we decided to look at nature despite culture. On the contrary: once framed, nature defines culture. (Călin Boto, BIEFF 2022) The program was curated by Călin Boto and Oana Ghera and is organized in partnership with the National Film Center and the Romanian National Film Archive.

Panta Rei

Wanda Mihuleac | Duration 10 min.

A slow-time masterpiece, Panta Rei originates from the mythic trope of narcissistic reflection, easily translatable for ecological thinking in imminent danger.


Matei Bejenaru | Duration 3 min.

With its suggestive title and the incessant ticking of a clock on its soundtrack, this video signed by the Iași-based artist toys around with the idea that it’s impossible to communicate at a later time.


Geta Brătescu, Alexandru Solomon | Duration 7 min.

In the first of her three collaborations with Alexandru Solomon, artist Geta Brătescu reveals herself as an alien creature that feeds itself with earth.

A Day Will Come

Copel Moscu | Duration 12 min.

A Day Will Come takes a horrified look at how recent societies (for capitalism is no exception, on the contrary) reformulate their culture into pragmatism and conformism – neither the new man nor the brand-new man are humanists anymore.


Ioan Pleș | Duration 6 min.

Ioan Pleș, the enfant terrible of the Arad-based kinema ikon collective, creates a sort of artificial Pac-Man set during the climate apocalypse, in the same playful and alert tone that rings throughout his entire output.

No Man’s Land

Gábor Nagy, Jenő Márton | Duration 27 min.

No Man’s Land is symbolically embodied by the forest that at first gives the impression of a young man’s idyllic refuge from urban alienation. Boundless, the protagonist cathartically culminates in mystical restitution of the self to nature, to finally confront ecstasy with wildness, and visceral impulse with the ultimate accident.

The Sensitivity of Plants

Mircea Popescu | Duration 13 min.

This tender documentary produced by the Sahia documentary studios uses the camera to record, disseminate and crown a botanical experiment.


Ion Grigorescu | Duration 15 min.

Slithering in between elements of performance, pastoral non-fiction, and diaristic thoughts, mysticism slowly drips across one of the (too-)little-known films of Ion Grigorescu.

Dynamic Poem

Emanuel Țeț | Duration 9 min.

A classical entry in the output of Arad-based group kinema ikon, Dynamic poem belongs to the pantheon of iconic films of Romanian animations from the eighties, that marked a time of renewal and experimentation.

The Rain

Mona Vătămanu, Florin Tudor | Duration 4 min.

The Rain depicts someone trying to linearly draw on paper, but the rain washes away the traces again and again, the whole semi-performance being filmed on 8mm among real raindrops whose own trace is lost in the black and white of the photosensitive celluloid.