Romanian documentary in transition : the role of documentary films in reshaping post-communist Romanian identity
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 12:27 by Petronela Serb
Since the fall of communism in 1989, Romanian citizens have changed dramatically, along with Romanian electronic media, which have transformed themselves from a one-party-controlled institution to a plethora of commercial broadcasters. By focusing on this era of dramatic transition, this thesis argues that documentary films have provided Romanians with the tools needed to deal with the past critically. More specifically, the intent of this thesis is to analyze how documentary films do the work of selecting, recollecting, and re-presenting narratives of the past, and to demonstrate that editorial choices resonate with wider social needs. The scope is limited to a short history of the documentary genre, focusing on a detailed analysis of two post-communist documentaries: Memorial of Pain ('Memorialul durerii', 1991), by TV producer Lucia Hossu-Longin and The Great Communist Bank Robbery ("Marele jaf comunist', 2004), by Alexandru Solomon. Ultimately, the thesis traces the ways in which trauma, shame, and amnesia also influence the shaping of both documentaries and identities.