Degradation by the book
A new international online premiere on CINEPUB: „The 11th Commandment”, by Mircea Daneliuc, the first film signed after the fall of the communism by one of the most important Romanian filmmakers. Written during the communist regime, free adaptation of the book „The Pitești Phenomenon” by Paul Goma, „Mircea Daneliuc’s film represents a terrifying point of view about the terror inflicted anywhere in the world and at any point in time” (Titus Vîjeu, „Monsieur l’auteur – or the lone wolf of the Romanian film”).
Director: Mircea Daneliuc
Scriptwriters: Mircea Daneliuc
Cast: Constantin Dinulescu, Valentin Uritescu, Cecilia Bîrbora, Ildiko Jarcsek Zamfirescu, Mircea Andreescu, Bujor Macrin, Viorica Geantă, Costel Constantin
Produced by: Studioul de Creație Alpha Films International
Cinematography by: Florin Mihăilescu
Film editing by: Maria Neagu
Category: feature film
Duration: 141 minutes
32,808 – Cinepub viewers
The last days of the Second World War. All those resembling Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Goebbels, Bormann and other prominent Nazi leaders are arrested and taken to a camp in order for the real fascist criminals to be discovered and punished. Thus begins the long ordeal of these individuals, who will suffer because of unproven offences. For a year they will live in complete isolation from the rest of the world, an infernal nightmare.
„The 11th Commandment “might be the most obviously allegorical of all Mircea Daneliuc’s films. Context is very important in understanding the film: it was written in 1989, when the anti-communist Revolution was simmering, which can explain the intensity and the fervor the director employs when it comes to the metaphors and the symbols in the film. Daneliuc starts from a real situation, which happened in 1945 in post-Nazi Germany, when the people who resembled Hitler, Eichmann, Eva Braun and other oppressors were imprisoned in a camp until their identity was clarified.
This is the starting point of the film, but what comes next turns into a hell (Daneliuc trademark), which might be the most intense depiction of hell in a Romanian film. Completely isolated – encircled by a mined field – and forced to survive, the people set all their instincts free and thus, „The 11th Commandment” becomes one of the most blood curdling Romanian films about being human.
Soon enough, the members of this lost community need a new leader, soon enough the leader starts to assume absolute power, that is to „command”, and soon enough, the infernal machinery of the most dehumanizing dictatorship sets moving again. Brilliant actors give life to this mini-dystopia that can also be seen as one of the bitterest mediations on man and the evil hidden inside him. Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic images in the film are truly impressive, and the film is the piece that should have completed Daneliuc’s filmography presented on Cinepub.ro, the Romanian films online platform.
“Grimmer than ever, with all his engines working at maximum power and in total freedom of expression, Mircea Daneliuc gives us a film that, as it is letting itself watched, it returns the image. An important film, necessary as an exorcism, but hard to bear and hard to swallow. A film we will definitely return to after a while, with a clearer view, after the shock of “collision” has died out. The view we now have for ― Glissando, for instance…” (Eva Sîrbu, www.aarc.ro )
“All individuals resembling Adolf Hitler, Bormann, Goebbels, Eva Braun, Eichmann are to be detained and subjected to an investigation.”
“You are being treated unjustifiably well.”
“My name is Karl Lintzer: Are we in a concentration camp?”
“Why do you ask?
Because I’ve just got out of one.”
“I need to pee.
Don’t try to be funny.
I think you’ll hear that again.”
“Heinz, they need a boss. You.”
“Screaming is not a good idea. We’ll get into trouble.”
“You love me, man.
“Pray, don’t be embarrassed. Maybe He will hear you.”
“He, too, was His son. And in His infinite Mercy, God granted him madness. That was the seventh day.”
- Grand Prize, Best Sound, Best Actor (Constantin Dinulescu), Special Award (Valentin Uritescu), Romanian Filmmakers Union – Romania, 1991