Diary of a long look back

We gladly present the film ”The Manakia Brothers. Diary of a Long Look Back”, signed by Eliza Zdru, which is based on the life of the Manakia Brothers, two Aromanian photographers who documented the Balkans of the first part of the XXth Century.

The Manakia Brothers. Diary of a Long Look Back - by Eliza Zdru - documentary - CINEPUB

Directed by: Eliza Zdru
Script by: Eliza Zdru
Producers: Alexandru Teodorescu
Cinematography: Paula Oneț
Edited by: Letiția Ștefănescu
Sound: Tudor Petre
Year: 2016
Category: feature film
Genre: documentary
Duration: 91 minutes

10,621 – Cinepub viewers


A mysterious photograph of the director’s great grandparents taken in the 1920’s somewhere in the Balkans reminds her of two Aromanian photographers, famous in the region at the time – Milton and Ianaki Manakia. Trying to verify the assumption that her great grandparents, also of Aromanian origin, were indeed photographed by the two brothers, she embarks on a journey through Romania – Bulgaria – Macedonia – Greece trying to recompose the lifestory of the two people who became the very first filmmakers in the region, devoted documentarists of the most dramatic changes that reshaped the face of the Balkans in the first part of the XXth Century.

More details:

In 1905, Milton and Ianaki Manakia, two photographers from Avdella, a small village in the mountains of the Balkans, bought a film camera and started shooting. From that moment on, the two of them succeeded to capture the most emblematic social and political events of their time, recording them on photography and film.

Eliza Zdru, the director of the documentary, embarks on a journey through the Balkans, trying to recompose the story of the two brothers. Moreover, the film becomes a meditation on cinema and its beginnings and a personal diary, looking back at the author’s personal past.

“The Manakia Brothers. Diary of a Long Look Back” is Eliza’s second feature documentary. Her first one, “Songs for a Museum” (2013), also follows Aromanian characters.


  • Astra Film Festival, Sibiu (Romania) – Romanian Documentaries
  • Vouvousa Festival (Greece)
  • Ceau, Cinema Festival (Romania)
  • DocuArt Festival (Romania)
  • Culese din Balcani (Romania)
  • Aegean Docs
  • Bergamo International Film Meeting (Italy)
  • Apricot Tree Ujan International Film Festival (Armenia)
  • Photometria Screenings 2020 (Greece)
  • Cronograf Documentary Film Festival (Moldova) – Special Mention Award
  • Best Pitch at BDC Discoveries workshop – Prizren, Kosovo (2013).


  • Interview with Eliza Zdru from Asta Film Festival, by Iosif Prodan –