How American Movies and a Brave Translator Gave Hope to Oppressed Romanians


Here's a moving little documentary about how VHS machines, a shadowy entrepreneur, and a ubiquitous voice-over translator gave the oppressed, audio-visually starved Romanians living under Ceausescu a little dynamic glimpse of what freedom might look like:

Director Ilinka Calugareanu adds some thoughts here. Link via the Twitter feed of Kmele Foster.

I wrote about the integral role of movies and culture in Romanian politics (both before and after Ceausescu) in this 2005 Reason piece, which details how the show Dallas was miraculously smuggled into the dictator's shrinking TV schedule. For more on J.R.'s liberatory role, watch this Reason.tv vid: