You weren’t there.

Cinepub presents a new UNATC short film, signed by Agatha Ioana Păltinel. „You Were Not There” tells the story of a former communist torturer, Costache Ionescu, played by Dorel Vișan.

Directed by: Agatha Ioana Păltinel
Cast: Dorel Vișan, Richard Bovnoczki, Alma-Nicole Boiangiu
Script: Ioana Agatha Păltinel, Ştefan Mircea
Producer: Georgiana Constantin
A production: UNATC
Cinematography by: Claudia Ciocan
Sound: Liviu-Cristian Gavrileţ
Edited by: Alice-Genţiana Gheorghiu
Year: 2014
Category: short film
Genre: fiction
Duration: 14 minutes
Subtitles: english

13,628 – Cinepub viewers


A former communist torturer confronts his past mistakes in front of his son.

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Costache Ionescu receives an unepected visit from a reporter-journalist that brings him face to face with the past – a dark reflection that will shake his relationship with his son. The pushy reporter puts all sorts of uncomfortable questions in order to do justice. Although the story depicts an emblematic character perceived in a certain way in the collective consciousness, „You Were Not There” proposes another point of view: the film is not about the confrontation of past stories, but about a future approach. The film raises some huge ethical and moral questions and might be much more than meets the eye, at first glance. Maybe you will notice the reporter’s attitude and consider it an act of violence toward the former torturer.


  • International Film Festival, Izmir, Turkey
  • Alter-native Film Festival, Târgu Mureș, Romania
  • European Short Film Festival at MIT
  • STIFF Student International Film Festival, Rijeka, Croatia
  • Bangalore International Short Film Festival, India
  • NexT Film Festival, Romania
  • Cannes Film Festival, Romanian Short Waves


  • Flumenfest Portugalia – Honorific Prize of the Academic Jury, 2014
  • Cluj Shorts, Award for Best Romanian Short Film, 2016.


„We’re trying to offer your father the chance to defend himself from the hideous accusations brought against him.”

„ – Sir, please, calm down. I told you, we want the people to know the truth.
   – What truth? What do you know about what happened there? You ran out of murders and rapes and now you come after an old man.”