The latest Romanian premiere is not your usual cinema fare. It is a nature documentary, and it has been commissioned by the retailer Auchan as a “present to Romanians” on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Great Union.
If your first impulse would be to skip it, think again, because România neîmblânzită/Untamed Romania is a breathtaking documentary.
Narrated by the charismatic Victor Rebengiuc (in the Romanian version), the film is the product of almost a year of travelling the country and observing its wildlife, from the peaks of Făgăraș mountains to the Danube Delta. It is basically a diary of a year and how the seasons, and the passing of seasons, affects the fauna of the respective area. Imagine Discovery Channel and National Geographic, but in more atmospheric and much more spectacular.
The film is unabashedly in awe of Romania's wild nature, and its diversity, but it is a heartfelt, passionate plea for preserving its wilderness, and protecting its (undeniably) impressive ecosystems. Especially while it's not too late. And this is its main point, at least as I gather it: to draw attention to the immense loss if this richness is not protected accordingly. This film is coming not a moment too soon in a country in which the term “environmental protection” is rather lax.
But most of all, due to its spectacular subject, Untamed Romania is an emotional, eye-opening experience, and I hope its producers and distributors manage to act as announced and screen it both in cities without cinemas and in schools (also including the over 400 hours of total footage).
Untamed Romania is currently shown in cinemas in Bucharest and across the country. You can check out the dates and venues at Cinemagia.ro.
Ioana Moldovan, columnist, [email protected]