Năiță Lucean and Pătru the Short, facing collectivization
One of the most important Romanian films signed by Mircea Daneliuc, adapted after Dinu Săraru’s novel, „Fox Hunting” is a document movie about the beginning of collectivization in Romania. One of the most courageous films through which Mircea Daneliuc did not hesitate to defy the censorship back in the ‘80s. Impeccably directed and written, the film benefits from the interpretation of some spectacular actors: Mitică Popescu, Mircea Diaconu, and the late Gheorghe Cozorici.
Director: Mircea Daneliuc
Cast: Mitică Popescu, Mircea Diaconu, Valeria Seciu, Zaharia Volbea, Aristide Teică, Gheorghe Cozorici
Produced by: Casa de filme 5
Cinematography by: Călin Ghibu
Film editing by: Maria Neagu
Category: feature film
Duration: 107 minutes
28,018 – Cinepub viewers
Năiţă Lucean, a stubborn and quick-witted peasant, who has never had a political life, except fighting the war, fights against the communist collectivization by all possible means. He instinctively feels that giving away his land and animals can only cause him and his family harm. The idea of collective goodness is forced upon him.
“Fox Hunting” is one of the most representative Romanian films about the collectivization in Romania, as well as one of the most important ones in Daneliuc’s filmography, both due to the context of censorship in the communist era and to the atypical, extremely courageous film making. The film is an adaptation by the novel „Only Peasants”, signed Dinu Săraru, and was first screened on 1 December, 1980. Its evolution was rapidly cut off, and the film circulated mostly through village cultural houses, under the pretext that it was a film about peasants. Dinu Săraru’s presence as co-scriptwriter helped that the film should escape censorship vigilance, but it did not help its circulation in the communist period. Much later, the film was fully acknowledged as a great value of the Romanian cinematography.
Director and scriptwriter Mircea Daneliuc takes the story from the novel, about some peasants, in an ordinary village in Romania, in the ‘50s, when collectivization was becoming a painful certainty, and the options were few and mostly forced. The end of hope and assuming a state-dictated condition are again at the basis of a memorable story. What makes the film absolutely innovative and unique is the affective editing. The director uses flashbacks to recreate the story of a lost life but the trips back to the past do not follow a chronological storyline, but rather a subjective one of the emotional memory that brings random experiences and images to the present.
Complemented by an exceptional cast, including Mitică Popescu and Mircea Diaconu in the leading roles, majestically seconded by well-known names such as : Valeria Seciu, Gheorghe Cozorici or Aristide Teică, the Romanian film „Fox Hunting” remains a “hidden jewel of the Romanian cinematography” (Ionuț Mareș).
„Fox Hunting”, through the narrative experiment it proposes, confusing the natural chronology of the events, successively going back to certain episodes, but either presenting them fragmented or from a different visual angle every time -, is an avant-gardist pattern, still unique in the Romanian cinematography. (Andrei Rus, www.agenda.liternet.ro)
„Fox Hunting” is not just radically polemic as compared to the run-off-the-mill and ideologically conformist films of those years, but it is also a high and risky stylistic bet, which Daneliuc wins, however. (Ionuț Mareș – www.ziarulmetropolis.ro )
„Cause if you don’t have at least a rifle in your house, why did you go to war?”
„You’d better mind your own business, politics are not for you.”
„It is not good, because it is with them that we need to build socialism. Am I not right,
You are, comrade, we build.”
„Well, I am the people. You are not the people, you’d better sign the declaration. If you don’t I’ll tear you up which means the people are beating you up.”
„We’re good at a lot of things. We’re good at politics too. Damned politics! It feeds on us, doesn’t it?”
- Transylvania International Film Festival Mircea Daneliuc Retrospective – Romania, 2015
- Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Mircea Daneliuc Retrospective – Greece, 2015
- Making Waves Festival, New Romanian Cinema, New York, Micea Daneliuc Tribute – U.S.A., 2015
- Berlin International Film Festival – Germany, 1980