- September 28, 1987
Time can no longer wait
„Moromeții” is a Romanian film that has completed and amplified the echoes of one of the most representative novels in our literature, the novel by the same name signed by writer Marin Preda. A film with a wide social span, about the dissolution of an entire social class (the peasants) and of a traditional lifestyle which will be lost forever. Through Moromete this world is crystallized to be sent to the future, as in a time capsule. The actors paying the main characters are brilliant, and they fully deserve their awards and ovations.
Director: Stere Gulea
Scriptwriter: Stere Gulea, an adaptation from Marin Preda’s 1st volume of the novel by the same title
Cast: Victor Rebengiuc, Luminița Gheorghiu, Gina Patrichi, Dorel Vișan, Mitică Popescu, Emilia Popescu, Florin Zamfirescu
Produced by: Casa de filme Unu
Cinematography by: Vivi Drăgan Vasile
Film editing by: Mircea Ciocâltei
Category: feature film
Duration: 142 minutes
3,023,027 – Cinepub viewers
“Morometii” (meaning the Moromete family) is an adaptation of the first volume of a modern classic of Romanian literature, bearing the same name, published in two volumes (1955 and 1967) by Marin Preda, who is rightly considered as one of the best post-WW2 Romanian novelists.
Ilie Moromete faces constant problems: his sister’s nagging, taxes and the work in the fields, whilst his older sons, almost grown-up, are now showing signs of rebellion. The book on which the film is based famously starts with the phrase “time showed endless patience to the people”. Yet, in a period heralding irreversible changes, in between the two World Wars, the Moromete family is facing break-up. Ilie Moromete, a real ‘pater familias’, magisterially
played by Victor Rebengiuc, feels this, and tries to cling to a way of life which – now we know – is doomed both by the impending war and by the communist regime the Soviets will install.
Time no longer has any patience and cracks have started to appear in the mesh of traditional peasant family. Film director Stere Gulea, taking over from Marin Preda, has managed to convey, through the character of Ilie Moromete, the archetype of the Romanian peasant.
Stere Gulea about the film:
“As regards the screening of this masterpiece, the problem that has concerned me was not that of the personality and originality infusion. Not just I, but also the operator, the leading actor and the other collaborators, we all had the same concern: to put ourselves in the service of the book, trying to transpose it in its spirit, as loyally as we could. The term „service” as far as a literature masterpiece is concerned, did not give us the feeling of being subordinates, or that our own Ego had been diminished somehow. That is why we wanted the film to be as simple as possible. I almost wanted that the camera should not be felt, and that only the world of the novel should be as living, as little counterfeit as possible.” (From the Presentation Notebook)
Stere Gulea’s project, as far as „Moromeții” is concerned, has been accomplished. Most critics and viewers noticed the naturalness close to perfection of Moromete’s world in the director’s film. Stere Gulea wanted to closely follow Marin Preda’s book and to make a classical film, by the model of Liviu Ciulei’s productions. He was successful with both undertakings. „Moromeții” is one of the Romanian films that have followed a fiction novel most closely, aiming to be a filmic vehicle for a universe so well-shaped and with so many specific elements as that of the Moromete family that it worked as a perfectly self-sufficient world. The dialogues and the verbal expressions are rendered almost identically; everything in Stere Gulea’s film is “Morometian” in the same way as it is “Morometian” in the book. Apparently just as conscious as its creators, the character Ilie Moromete, „the peasant-philosopher” as he has been called, does everything he can to keep his world intact. For Ilie, the peasant is a land owner and a governor of his own household, family and world. Unfortunately times change quickly, and he has to accept a new member in his life, who will take over the reins of his destiny: the State. Neither the preceptor, as a representative of the new structures, nor the mayor manage to convince Moromete to accept this new authority.
The only thing that convinces him that times have truly changed is his own children’s betrayal as they embrace other options than the ones that lay at the basis of Moromete’s existence: money to the detriment of land. Stere Gulea and Victor Rebengiuc’s art gives its highest measure here, in the way in which they render the fall into himself of the main character, when he understands that the loss of his own world is an irreversible phenomenon.
Stere Gulea’s film is crucial to the Romanian cinematographic art, and it was, therefore, a must for the collection of Romanian films online of Cinepub platform.
„In the case of “Moromeţii”, the director, loyal to rather classical patterns (editing and composition) of the filmic language, withdraws to put his tools in the service of fluidity and narrative efficiency and enable the actors’ expressiveness, which leads to many moments of beauty, naturalness and emotion.” (Ionuț Mareș, www.ziarulmetropolis.ro )
“I said screening: it is too little. Without going too far from the letter of the novel, the director won the lottery that contained the spirit of Preda’s literary work. Following the picture raster and the unmistakable psychological atmosphere of the village universe in the novel, an independent piece is created – a filmic one, freestanding, but covering the cluster of meanings, beyond the events. Maybe this is where the great force of Stere Gulea’s film resides.” (Bedros Horasangian – www.aarc.ro )
„What do you do the whole day? Chew… chew…”
„You talk so much, your jaws will be aching.”
„And what will you eat?
We’ve lived without sheep before.”
„This accacia-tree? Why should we fell it?
Just so.For fools to wonder.”
„Ilie, why have you felled the acacia-tree? Are things that bad?”
„Your mental occupation, Cocky,… is rubbish!
You are a fool.”
„Why are you swearing? Go into politics!”
„Pay up and get out of trouble.”
„Gimme your hat, to go to the school festivity.”
„You mean, there’ll be no elections? How can someone rule without being elected?”
„You’ve got so much hate in you! If your father were to die, you’d throw us out.”
„What do you want?
Pay the land-tax!”
„I haven’t! What will you do to me?
I’ll take the cow from your yard!”
„I struggle to keep the land whole. You stupid, blind fool!”
- The Grand Prize & Best Cinematography, Best Actor (Victor Rebengiuc), Best Costumes, Best Music, Best Editing, Diploma of Honor (Luminiţa Gheorghiu) – ACIN, 1987
- Best Actor (Victor Rebengiuc), San Remo – Italy, 1988
- 3rd Award and Best Actor (Victor Rebengiuc), Santarem – Portugal, 1988
- The Grand Prize and Best Actor (Victor Rebengiuc) and Best Actress (Luminiţa Gheorghiu) – Costineşti, 1988