Once upon a time, in Romania, lived Marin Preda, one of the finest writers of the last century, who knew exactly how to describe Romanian village life and gave our literature the extraordinary novel Morometii. Some 30 years since the first film adaptation was released, the same director – but an all-new cast – is currently the talk of the town. Who’s who and what’s new?
Following on from the 1985 production, tStere Gulea’s script is based on the second volume of the novel Morometii, on Marin Preda’s 1977 partly-autobiographical novel Viata ca o prada, and on other works by the Romanian writer, following the characters from the novel after WWII, when communism is installed in Romania and their whole life changes. The entire cast from the first adaptation has been replaced. The sequel will star Horațiu Mălăele (as Ilie Moromete), Dana Dogaru (Catrina Moromete) and newcomer Iosif Paștina (Niculae). It also includes popular Romanian actors such as Răzvan Vasilescu, George Mihăiță, Andi Vasluianu, Oana Pellea, Ion Caramitru, Gheorghe Visu, Florin Zamfirescu, Marian Râlea, Paul Ipate, Cuzin Toma, Liviu Pintileasa and Dorina Chiriac.
“Moromeții 2 is very challenging because there is both an excellent model – the novel – and the first adaptation which, to my satisfaction, became quite popular. This time the action takes place in more turbulent times, as the new political system brings a lot of concern and anxiety. The world that we knew disappears. This is what propelled me into a sequel, the idea of finishing the odyssey of those characters who survived until the 50s, when nationalization took place,” said Gulea, quoted by Film New Europe.
But while the cast is different, the home of the Moromete family is the same, as the filming took place in the same house and village as 30 years ago – albeit with everything having to be re-built from scratch. The village, Talpa, is in Teleorman county, some 120 km southwest of Bucharest. “The entire village participated in the shoot and some of them also had a part in the distribution of the movie 30 years ago. It was fantastic that we could integrate once again in village life and that it could support us as part of it and accept us with the entire crew, set and needs,” Oana Giurgiu, co-founder of Libra Film Productions, told Business Review. Shooting also took place in Bucharest and Slatina.
In the new version, time is pressing on and cracks have started to appear in the mesh of the traditional peasant family, a theme which Gulea, picking up from Preda, has managed to convey, through the character of Ilie Moromete, the archetypal Romanian peasant. iPertinently, the film happens in Teleorman county and Bucharest, two of the locations in the spotlight of current local politics. Are things still as Preda saw them after WWII? Have we evolved or become more involved as society? The film, in cinemas from November 165, attempts to answer these questions.