Documentary about 2015 Bucharest nightclub fire premieres at Venice film festival
Colectiv, a documentary about the 2015 fire at the Bucharest nightclub of the same name, premiered at the Venice film festival. The documentary, directed by Alexander Nanau, was screened outside of the competition. It is the first Romanian documentary to be screened at the Italian festival.
The film takes a behind-the-scenes look at the fight against corruption that followed the Colectiv fire, which resulted in the death of 64 people. It tells the story of the first year after the fire and follows both the authorities and the journalists in their interaction to search for and expose the truth.
The documentary’s protagonists are Narcis Hogea, the father of Alex Hogea, one of those who died in the fire; Gazeta Sporturilor journalists Cătălin Tolontan, Mirela Neag and Răzvan Luţac; Camelia Roiu, a doctor at the Emergency Hospital for Plastic, Reconstructive and Burn Surgery in Bucharest; Mariana Oprea (Tedy), one of the survivors of the fire; and Vlad Voiculescu, a former health minister in the cabinet of Dacian Cioloș.
German-Romanian director and producer Alexander Nanau studied directing at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. He had residencies at the Sundance Institute and the Berlin Akademie der Künste. His documentary The World According to Ion B. won in 2010 an International Emmy award in the Arts Programming category. Another documentary he directed, Toto and His Sisters, was nominated for the European Film Academy awards in 2015.
Colectiv will be available on HBO GO and HBO and will open in Romanian cinemas in November. The documentary was also selected at this year’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, set to take place between September 5 and September 15.
The fire at the Colectiv nightclub fire broke on October 30, 2015. Some 400 young people were in the club at the time, attending the release of the latest album of Romanian band Goodbye to Gravity. The fire started at 22:30 and killed 27 people only that night, injuring many more.
The fire exposed the weaknesses of the local healthcare system. A media investigation showed that many of the people who died after the fire have been killed by aggressive germ infections they developed in the Romanian hospitals. It also led to the resignation of then prime-minister Victor Ponta, a few days after the event.
(Photo: La Biennale di Venezia Facebook Page)