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Romanian Film Festival 2018

Blog posts of '2015' 'April'

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Mike Ripley about ‘Greuceanu-Novel With A Policeman’ in Shotsmag: - 05 April 2015
 Greuceanu-Novel With A Policeman

Fairy Tale

“Until recently my knowledge of Romania was limited to the time when under Imperial Rome it was known as Felix Dacia – or ‘Happy Dacia’, though I suspect the epithet ‘happy’ applied more to the Roman rulers than the local population.

However, I think I have more than trebled my understanding of modern Romania thanks to a fairy tale in the form of a crime novel. In fact Greuceanu-Novel With A Policeman, now smoothly translated and published here by Profusion Gold, is author Stelian Turlea’s re-working of a classic Romanian fairy tale, transposing the story of ogres and damsels-in-distress to a small provincial town in the grip of diamond-smuggling gangsters.

As in all the best fairy tales, the brave hero (in this case a humble policeman rather than a Prince Charming) defeats the baddies and gets the girl and although it’s a happy ending, Stelian Turlea doesn’t pull his punches when it comes to describing the grim side of a modern Romania still suffering a hangover from a ruthless socialist dictatorship and now enjoying the benefits of capitalist organised crime.

I am sure I will have missed most of the direct analogies to present-day Romanian politics and culture, but the editors wisely provide some fascinating footnotes, from which I learned a lot, including a few useful words in Romanian. I will make a point the next the subject of the Ottoman Empire crops up in polite conversation to slip in the word ‘sictir’ (from the Turkish ‘sikdir’) just to see what reaction I get.”

http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/column_view.aspx?COLUMNIST_ID=1

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