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Après le silence

Après le silence
(After the Silence)

F/Romania 2012 96'

Director: Vanina Vignal
Sound: Dana Bunescu
Editing: Mélanie Braux
Production: NOVEMBERproductions


Vanina Vignal returns to Bucharest to film her childhood friend, an actress who stayed and lived under the Ceausescu regime. Ioana's confession highlights the complexity of a person's relationship with a repressive society and its leader, whose ghost still sometimes seems to be hovering in the background: killing a dictator is not enough to put an end to the legacy of his reign.

“It was normal: Ceausescu, the RCP, we lived with it, why talk about it?”. When Vanina Vignal met Ioana in Romania in 1991, the dictator had fallen but the two friends still avoided politics. AFTER THE SILENCE is constantly battling against the silence transmitted from generation to generation in her friend's family – and the whole country. Armed with a dictionary, her fluent Romanian and an intimate knowledge of the family, the filmmaker shows rare determination in an established documentary genre – the evocation of the abuses of a dictatorship – that sometimes goes no further than gathering testimonies. For the sake of their friendship, she asks questions relentlessly, digging into a half-revealed family secret and testing the small private world that Ioana has retreated into. And the more the conversation progresses, the more her Romanian friend details the strategy she developed during the dictatorship in order to avoid politics. This survival-driven apolitical attitude soon reveals itself as what fuels the system, which is only too happy that brains disconnect of their own free will.
Charlotte Garson, cinéma du réel 2012