The Paper will be Blue – Hârtia va fi albastrã
Regie: Radu Muntean; 95 Min., 35 mm, RO 2006 (OmE)
Sarajevo 2006 – Special Mention
The original inspiration for the film is a tragic incident which took place in the Romanian revolution in 1989, in which two armoured squads of Interior Ministry troops that went to protect a military unit were accidentally butchered. This episode received considerable media attention.
In the days following the departure of the Ceausescus, when the Romanian people had no clear enemy, over 1,000 people died in such accidents and personal vendettas.
"The Paper Will Be Blue" is not a History Channel type historical perspective, but tries to recreate the emotion of those days from the point of view of ordinary people who participated in the events.
It is the story of the loss of innocence of a whole generation and of a popular rebellion that brought out the best and the worst in us. As well as solidarity there was also selfishness and meanness accumulated over decades of frustration.
Lieutenant Neagu's armoured unit is ordered to patrol the suburbs. The unit's radio functions intermittently and communications between the different armoured units and fragments of radio and TV broadcasts give vague reports of "terrorist" attacks on the national television station held by anti-Ceausescu forces. The members of the unit are
thrown into confusion.
Costi, a conscript who has managed to do his military service in Bucharest thanks to some wrangling by his well-connected father, believes that it is the duty of every Romanian, after so many years of dictatorship, to fight the supporters of Ceausescu, irrespective of the orders of his superiors. His arrogance and stubborness brings him into conflict with Lieutenant Neagu and he takes advantage of an altercation between his comrade and a group of demonstrators to flee.
Despite the Lieutenant's threats and pleas, Costi heads for the television station to fight for the revolution. The young soldier only makes it as far as a house near the TV station, where in the confusion he is arrested as a terrorist by the mixed group of soldiers and civilians who are defending the building. Meanwhile, the rest of Costi's unit is taking risks to try to find the deserter. At the TV headquarters, Neagu is disarmed and humiliated by an overexcited Colonel, then finally heads to Costi's home, where the mother and girlfriend of the young soldier are anxiously awaiting his return.
It's a night of madness in which soldiers receive orders via television from poets and actors, radios transmit garbled signals, arms are distributed to civilians and gipsies are arrested as Arab terrorists.
Radu Muntean, Director
Born in 1971 in Bucharest, Radu graduated in 1994 the Theatre and Film Academy, the Film Direction section. Ever since 1996, Radu directed over 300 commercials for agencies such as BV McCann Ericsson, Saatchi & Saatchi, D’Arcy, Leo Burnett, Grey, Tempo, Scala J. Walter Thomson, Graffiti BBDO, Headvertising, Next Cap, winning over 40 national and international awards in various advertising festivals. In 1999 he was university lecturer at the Media University, Film Direction Faculty.