Film still of the film After the Silence, what remains unsaid does not exist ?, directed by Vanina Vignal, Visions du Réel 2012

After the Silence, what remains unsaid does not exist ?

Après le silence, ce qui n'est pas dit n'existe pas ?

Vanina Vignal
France, Romania | 2012 | 96 min
Languages : Romanian, French, English
Subtitles : French, English

Vanina Vignal returns to Bucharest to film her childhood friend, an actress who stayed and lived under the Ceausescu regime. Ioana’s confession highlights the complexity of a person’s relationship with a repressive society and its leader, whose ghost still sometimes seems to be hovering in the background: killing a dictator is not enough to put an end to the legacy of his reign.

Ioana, an actress, grew up under the Ceausescu dictatorship. When she met Vanina Vignal in 1991, they did not speak about this experience. Twenty years later, the filmmaker returns to Bucharest to film her friend: facing the camera, Ioana tries to put words to the “normality” she went through: that of a budding young communist who ended up acting in a propaganda film commissioned by the regime to celebrate the eternal youth of the “revolution”, even though her grandfather had been sent for a year to work on the “Canal” (linking the Danube with the North Sea), along with thousands of other dissidents. “I’ve had enough. I cannot recover what was taken from me by Communism ”, says the protagonist of Après le silence…, whose handsome features often cloud over. Her “confession” marks a turning point in the relationship between the two women as they try to go beyond their respective viewpoints and, together, ask a universal question: how does one live in a repressive society and, above all, come to terms with its legacy?

Emmanuel Chicon

Translation BMP Translations


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