A moving coming of age story in a time of extreme change: on August 23, 1944 in a small city in Romanian Transylvania, the 16 year old Felix Goldschmidt awaits his classmates for their ...
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A moving coming of age story in a time of extreme change: on August 23, 1944 in a small city in Romanian Transylvania, the 16 year old Felix Goldschmidt awaits his classmates for their traditional Exitus Party (school graduation). However, this very day the kingdom of Romania takes leave of its ally of many years - Nazi Germany - thus ending the 800 year old, highly successful story of ethnic German immigration at the feet of the Carpathian Mountains. It is a great story of young people's blindness to the rise of Fascism, the destruction of bourgeois values, a first love and shattered friendships.Written by
The 800 years history of the German presence in Transylvania, its convulsed history during the 20th century and the almost total extinction of the community in the second half of the last century could be the subject and background for many fascinating stories and films. Unfortunately 'Der geköpfte Hahn' almost completely fails on all plans. The film is directed by Radu Gabrea, who as a young director in Communist Romania had an amazing first film in 1969 'Prea mic pentru un razboi atit de mare' (too young for such a great war) which precluded the theme of contrast between the innocence of childhood and the horrors of war. His career could not be continued at a sustained pace under the Communist regime, he made very few films, and this is the first that I am seeing for a long while. It is however a big disappointment. The history of the years 1940 to 1944 with the complex relations between the different communities coexisting in the city of Fagaras is described in a schematic manner, the characters are more stereotypes than real life people, they fail to move or to attract sympathy, and the story telling flows painfully with characters showing up from nowhere and disappearing without trace. I hope that some these amazing pieces in the history of Romania will have a better chance on screens in the future.
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