Radu Jude: Presenting Histories, Confronting Fascism

November 26 – December 5

Radu Jude is the most daring and important filmmaker to have emerged in Europe over the past decade, the heir to the probing, confrontational cinema of Godard and the late 60s new wave.

Born in 1977, Jude grew up under the Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, an authoritarian regime which collapsed in 1989. An assistant director for Costa Gavras and Cristi Puiu, he made a series of acclaimed short films and commercials before making his feature debut with the dysfunctional family comedy The Happiest Girl in the World (2009). Jude’s international reputation took off with his third film, the bawdy Wallachian western, Aferim!, about the abuses heaped on the Roma people, which won the Silver Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 2015, and which can be seen as the first of an unofficial trilogy of films excavating the history of oppression in Jude’s country (the others being Scarred Hearts and “I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians”).

But Jude’s interest in keeping the past alive is a byproduct of his engagement with the present and the resurgent forces of populism, sexism and xenophobia which feed contemporary fascism in Europe and North America alike. Over the course of the decade, his films have increasingly drawn on Bertolt Brecht, not shying from didacticism but also inviting interrogation and critique through their ostentatious formal and aesthetic choices. Earlier this year, the provocative Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn came away with the top prize, the Golden Bear, at Berlin.

While the breadth and variety of his work resists classification, Jude's fiercely political cinema is charged with anger at injustice and compassion for the oppressed, while embracing the liberating laughter of the absurd and the grotesque. If you can't remake the world, at least make mischief.

The first retrospective dedicated to Radu Jude in Canada, our series includes all his dramatic features culminating in Bad Luck Banging, or Loony Porn, which will be Romania’s submission for the Best Foreign Film Award at the Academy Awards.
- Tom Charity

“From turning out the black-humoured social satire the Romanian New Wave is famed for with films such as Everybody in Our Family (2012), Radu Jude has evolved into a wholly singular, and constantly inventive, firebrand of political conscience, calling out state-sanctioned injustices in films as bold in stretching what the medium can do as they are in pushing conservatives’ buttons." Marianne Gray, Sight & Sound

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