I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS
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A film by Radu Jude
A Big World Pictures Release
France/Czech Republic / 2018 / 140 min.
In Romanian, with English subs / NR
Best Film – Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; Best Feature Film – IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival; Best Film – Minsk International Film Festival; Best Film – Vukovar Film Festival; selected to represent Romania for the 2019 Academy Awards
“I do not care if we go down in history as barbarians” - these were the words spoken by Romania’s military dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu in the Council of Ministers in the summer of 1941 that started the ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front.
One of contemporary Europe's most distinctive creators, Jude has come out with an ingeniously conceived film. While it unfolds slowly and in detail, it hits the viewer with a singular emotional punch.
“I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS” chronicles a young theatre director’s efforts to stage an accurate re-enactment of the Odessa Massacre - in which Romanian soldiers slaughtered tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews - despite the municipal government’s attempt to censor the director’s efforts. Her choice angers a city official who threatens to close the production because of its “anti-Romanian” take on history. However, the reaction to the staged play is one that neither anticipated. This internationally- acclaimed dark satire is a timely statement about the consequences of selective and willful amnesia on a society fueled by populist sentiments.
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“GENIUS…Explosively eloquent and morally galvanizing…Mesmerizing.”
– Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
“A provocative, sarcastic, and momentous act of interrogation between the past and the present...[Barbarians] is a culmination of all Jude's recent formal and thematic preoccupations. And gluing it all together, there's Iacob's riveting performance...a fiercely intelligent, engaging and challenging wake-up call, a film that leaves you smarter at the end than when you went in...” – Jessica Kiang, Variety
“Darkly comic, politically timely...a mature, ambitious work from a spirited auteur who has mastered the cinematic rules well enough to break them with confidence."
– Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter