Communism is the last to die
“Fox Hunter” is a Romanian movie that carries heavy political meanings, by the well known Romanian director Stere Gulea, adapted from the novel “Încă de pe atunci Vulpea era Vânătorul” (Der Fuchs war damals schon der Jäger) written by Herta Müller, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009. A production that focuses on the tense context before the 1989 uprise in Timisoara which led to the outbreak of the Revolution resulting in the fall of the communist regime in Romania. The talented Oana Pellea, at the time in the first part of her career, played the part of the main female character, closely watched by the secret police.
Director: Stere Gulea
Scriptwriters: Herta Müller, Harry Merkle
Cast: Oana Pellea, George Alexandru, Dan Condurache, Mara Grigore, Dorel Vișan, Claudiu Istodor, Adrian Titieni, Marian Râlea
Produced by: Harald Reichebner
Cinematography by: Florin Mihăilescu
Film editing by: –
Soundtrack: „Chip fără chip” by Vali Sterian
Category: feature film
Duration: 91 minutes
242,285 – Cinepub viewers
Set in Romania in the winter of 1989, when the revolution is about to break out and the state secret police (Securitate) is active. A teacher encourages her pupils to act in politically non-conformist ways and she finds herself under surveillance from the secret service.
“Fox Hunter” is a Romanian movie about psychological terror in a totalitarian regime. While the “New Wave” approached in a number of Romanian movies the uncertainties regarding the nature and the authenticity of the 1989 Revolution, Stere Gulea’s production, focuses, only a few years after the Revolution, on the context that led to its outbreak. In the 1989 Romania there is nothing private left.
The obliteration of the right to privacy was supported by law, like in all dictatorships and it became „normality” in the communist Romania approaching the end of the XXth century. But when „they” invade, physically, one’s house, one’s bathroom, one’s closets and bed, one knows there is much more to it. Dar când îți este invadată, la modul fizic, casa, baia, dulapurile, patul, atunci știi că e ceva mai mult de atât.
Irina, a non-conformist teacher, knows. She knows she is being watched by the secret police from the moment „they” initiate the sadistic ritual of slashing the fox fur carpet in her room. One piece less of the fox shows Irina she was paid yet another visit and lets her know that they are closer and closer, watch her every move and that the fox’s fate might be hers.
The fall of the Ceausescu’s make Irina and her loved ones euphoric, but, not long after, at home, she is to find the fox mutilated once more. Among the Romania movies on the topic, maybe this one has a premonitory side: the communist “ways” were to hunt us for quite a while longer.
“For a movie that was made only few years after the fall of communism, in a time both effervescent and confused, “Fox Hunter” approaches in a well-balanced manner the traumas that were still quite strong at the time.” (Ionuț Mareș, – www.ziarulmetropolis.ro )
“The fears, suffocation, unrest, cowardice, euphoria exposed in the movie are not local, they belong to people from there as well as from everywhere else in Romania of all desperations.” (Magda Mihăilescu – www.aarc.ro )
“Get your act together and cut this crappy spirit of justice!”
“At first, I thought I tore its tail. I didn’t want to think anything else. But why the fox? How could they possibly know?”
“He took off, pal, he took off! Ceaușescu ran away, bro, don’t you get it? He ran way!”
“We are free! Brandy! Doina, get the good brandy!”
“They disgust me and they make me pity. Where does this pity come from, after all we’ve been through?”
“God, what is it that You want with us? Hm?”
- UCIN Awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound and Best Female Actress (Oana Pellea) – Romania, 1993