Sheffield Doc/Fest: COLD WAVES a film by Alexandru Solomon

Friday 7 November 2008
14.15, SIF Studio, 5 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS. Box Office 0114 275 7727

• Cold Waves (Razboi pe calea undelor)
Romania / Germany / Luxembourg, 2007. Documentary, colour, 108 min. Romanian/English/French with English subtitles. Directed by Alexandru Solomon. Screening together with ‘Radio Heads: Liverpool Unzipped’.


This is a love and hate story built around something no one can see or touch: radio waves. During the 80’s, Radio Free Europe was the secret relief and confidant of its Romanian listeners. The Radio was Ceausescu’s most important enemy; he even hired Carlos to close it down. A strange alliance was thus forged, between a national-communist dictator and international terrorism.
The world has changed, there are different wars now. But if you listen to the voices, you may get a better picture.
Starring in the film are radio speakers, Carlos the Jackal and his lawyer, the chief of Securitate’s Ether group fighting the Radio, listeners and dissidents. Romanians, Americans, Germans, French...

• A Q&A with Alexandru Solomon will follow the screening.

“...What I liked about the history of Radio Free Europe from the very beginning was the persistency of a mythology of a radio, of some voices about which you can imagine anything. Beyond the myth, all kinds of paradoxes mingle. Nothing is what it seems. Add to all this: mystery, terrorists and all that muted but violent war. Plenty of reasons to go to the cinema.”
(Alexandru Solomon in an interview given to Mihai Fulger, Astra Festival, October 2007)

Alexandru Solomon
In the early 1990s, when Solomon emerged as a young director of photography, documentary film was largely considered aesthetically and politically bankrupt in Romania, due to its long-term assimilation with the previous propaganda of the state and socialist party. Solomon was among the first Romanian film-makers who committed themselves to a then compromised genre; today, almost a decade later, he is the leading political film-maker coming out of Romania and active on the international documentary scene. His recent work triggered public debates about the function of documentary film within the public sphere and contributed to re-establishing documentary film as an arena for reframing Romania's recent history. Solomon's previous work, ‘The Great Communist Bank Robbery’ (2004), broadcast as part of BBC4's prestigious Storyville series and presented last year in the Romanian Film Festival in London, was awarded Best Film at the History Film Festival in Pessac, France, the Prize for Social Values at Documenta Madrid and the Grand Prix in Mediawave, Hungary. ‘Cold Waves’ is a chilling slice of political history from a film-maker on a mission.

Sheffield Doc/Fest brings the international documentary family together to celebrate the art and business of documentary making for five intense days in November. Doc/Fest is a film festival, industry session programme and market place, offering pitching opportunities, controversial discussion panels and in-depth filmmaker masterclasses, as well as a wealth of inspirational documentary films from across the globe.
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The Romanian presence in the Sheffield Doc/Fest is supported by 
The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre in London