Synopsis

The action of the film takes place in the 1st century BC, during the reign of King Burebista, the leader of the first centralized Dacian state. Burebista is the only “barbarian” king whom the esteemed Roman emperor, Caesar, did not defeat. The Dacians are preparing for confrontation.

Burebista (1980) - historical film online on CINEPUB

Directed by: Gheorghe Vitanidis
Script: Mihnea Gheorghiu
Cast: George Constantin, Ion Dichiseanu, Emanoil Petrut, Alexandru Repan, Ernest Maftei, Ovidiu Iuliu Moldovan, Serban Ionescu, Stefan Sileanu, Ioana Bulca, Anca Szonyi, Monica Rusu, Constantin Dinulescu, Iulian Necsulescu, Vlad Radescu, Corano Negreanu, Szabolcs Cseh, Vasile Nitulescu
Producers: Mihai Opris
Cinematography by: Petru Maier
Edited by: Cristina Ionescu, Yolanda Mîntulescu
Sound: Anusavan Salamanian, Silviu Camil
Muzică: Theodor Grigoriu
Year: 1980
Category: feature film
Genre: History
Duration: 136 minutes

22,442 – Cinepub viewers

PLOT SUMMARY

In the first part of the 1st century BC, Burebista, the leader of the first centralized Dacian state, fought for the unification of the kingdom and the reclaiming of ancient Dacian territories. Supported by the high priest Deceneu and the military commanders of the Getae-Dacians, Burebista pursued a skillful policy of alliances to defend against both Roman expansion and the Celts.

In the 70s BC, before the Common Era, the powerful Roman Empire’s expansion reached, south of the Danube, the rich lands of the united Dacians in a great and powerful kingdom under the scepter of the brave Burebista. Proconsul Hibrida (whose wife is the former lover of a gladiator from Spartacus’ army who returned home) even settles in a Greek citadel by the sea. The assassination of Julius Caesar postpones the inevitable.

DIRECTOR ABOUOT THE MOVIE

“I don’t know how the film will turn out, how valuable it will be, but I believe it’s an act of respect and integrity that we’re filming here, right on the site of the former Dacian citadels. Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to making lightweight films. To make as few concessions as possible, I rely on the actors’ interpretation.”Gheorghe Vitanidis – 1980 (Cinema).

CRITICAL REVIEW

“The clashes between the Getae-Dacians with the Celts and the Romans, as well as smaller events from the life of the great Dacian king, are fabricated by the imagination of Mihnea Gheorghiu in “Iron and Gold,” a dull, redundant, and precarious text, later entrusted to publicity. Marking the total depravity of the National Cinematic Epic Project after several promising successes in previous decades, the film holds a long series of political speeches that reproduce the tone and themes “of Party and State.”

“In the great, united, and free country, there is no place for slavery anymore” or, “And tell the citizens that the Dacians have not ceased to be the most righteous among the Thracians” when not directly paraphrasing the chorus of a former official anthem: “Workers and soldiers, scholars and plowmen” taking the form in prose “Soldiers, and plowmen, and craftsmen alike…” or anticipations from Octavian Goga: “Don’t cry, Lae! Say, rather, a word of longing.” At the king’s court, rubbing shoulders with Vercingetorix and other VIPs, global politics and European-level strategy are made.

The filmmaker ambitiously reconstructs extensive battle scenes, but it’s not the eloquence of the sword but the emphatic gesture that gives substance to this risky reenactment, a golden cast remaining captive to declamation in a tragic tone, of journalistic texts. Nothing remains of the nobility, naturalness, and humanity of the dialogue written by Titus Popovici for his historical films. Moreover, as in “The Virgin’s Sign,” Gheorghiu is obsessed with creating an artificial mythology, the Dionysian processions being followed by mysterious Dacian folk games. The award “The Song of Romania” couldn’t have been more fittingly awarded.” (Tudor Caranfil)

TRIVIA

  • Sound track – Symphony Orchestra of the Romanian Opera, conductor Mihai Brediceanu.
  • “Musica Rediviva” band, conductor Ludovic Bacs

ARTICLES

  • “Burebista” – film chronicle – Eva Sîrbu – 1980 – aarc.ro
  • “Burebista”, the film that put actor Ion Dichiseanu in the hospital – 2020 – tvr.ro
  • The historical film – D.I. Suchianu – 1980 – aarc.ro

This premiere is part of a national archive project supported by the Romanian National Film Centre.
Special thanks goes to the Romanian Filmmakers Union and to the Romanian Film Archive.

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