Title: Chuck Norris vs Communism
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Ilinca Calugareanu
Starring: Irina Nistor, Ana Maria Moldovan, Dan Chiorean
Runtime: 1 hr 18 mins
What It Is: In 1965 Nicholae Cheausescu took over as General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party. Through his strict sanctions on media Romania was in the dark ages in relation to things like literature, film, and television. This is the story of one man, Theodor Zamfir, who dared to bring in the most potentially harmful of contraband into Romania, movies. You see Mr. Zamfir was importing video tapes, copying them and dubbing them into Romani. This risky business paid off as in the end communism in Romania fell in December of 1989.
What We Think: A truly fascinating documentary that does a fantastic job of painting the picture of Cheausescu’s fall from grace. What the film does better than anything, and is perhaps why I adored it so much was to tell just how important movies are. How they can change and shape our lives. Seeing interviews with people who can remember fondly Lone Wolf McQuade so that they may forget the horrors of that time is a really important message to send. Even more so is the message that film can shape, mold and change people’s existence. Without these films, some of which we as Americans discount, communist Romania would have been an even worse place.
Our Grade: A-, Go see this film! It’s a cinephiles dream! You get to watch people whose first experiences with film weren’t until later in life, and during harsh times at that! It’s title mentions Chuck Norris in it, but it is so much more than that. It also offers up an untold story from a place you only see on a globe but don’t fully understand. I’ve always been fascinated byCheausescu in particular his last hours of life. This film offers us a bit of insight into his paranoia.