I watched Furiai again last night and... well, it made me so very sad...
The film itself is rather nonsensical even if one's memory readily provides the needed context. It dependsii on a lengthy list of preconceived ideas, notions about the world and peculiar shapes of conceptual starvation that were extremely rare (even if geographically clustered -- or rather, because geographically clustered) in their time, a good two decades ago -- meaning they're thoroughly forgotten by now, a circumstance drastically compounding the archeological difficulty.
Yet for all its nonsense (and, I suspect, very much not in spite of it) Furia nevertheless manages to evoke, at least to my mind's eye, a time and a place, a milieu, a sociocultural niche, fully realised, quite vividly painted, the post-highschool confused youth of post-Sovok southern Romaniaiii. A thing that very much was (and yes, old RoTrilema's full of shards and pieces, sure) : rats among the ruins of a mighty concrete-and-electricity socialism, meanwhile defunct -- yet, in all the carnage, optimistic rats. Smiling, and meaning well, here and there crushed under the crumbling debris of yet another thousand year reich "realising" its reichy grandeur "in the world" (of imagination). Imagine this scene if you will : as you drive your (imaginary) safe and comfortable rescue truck to the ruins of what once was called Pripyat, you come across some boys bathing excitedly in the pools of warm water that used to be reactor coolant. It's something they heard about but never experienced before, warm water, the prime luxury of civilisation. As they notice you, they smile broadly and extend their hands in friendship -- you too, evidently well to do foreigner of some respectable distance, you too must definitely know the glory of warm baths. Just like them! So put it right there, pard'ner, you'll now be friends forever. No ? Imagine this scene as you will : as you drive your safe and comfortable army truck towards the barbed wire delineating something that nobody yet knew was called Majdanek, the scant and few, the spread apart and breathing thinly survivors, more skin and bones than anything else, smile broadly, and extend a hand. You too!
Such is what's found after socialism, of course, happy, optimistic rats in appalling pits, it's the very nature of the beast. Yet their happy-go-lucky, deeply and thoroughly optimistic worldview I rather well remember, I still skeptically yet very well remember. And...
Well, what can I say. It didn't work out for them, at all.———
- 2002, by Radu Muntean, with Dragos Bucur, Dorina Chiriac, Andi Vasluianu. The usual crew & fare of the "Romanian New Wave", then barely at its onset and thus not really understood "as a thing". [↩]
- Not deliberately, as a constructed thing, like you see here on Trilema ; but accidentally, by virtue of the authors' an' participants' internalized biases, in the manner every adolescentine in-joke is extremely funny, but very much only to the teens in question. They're not even particularly aware of just how cryptically opaque their nonsense is, a naivite taken oft to the extreme of suspecting there's something wrong with the others for not getting it. [↩]
- No, these aren't the teens of Rebel w/o Cause, nor Dazed & Confused, nor are they Graduates, nor anything similar, comparable, commensurate, somehow reducible. They're their own thing, such as it was, joyous localized мать and a firm conviction on sheer unmitigated display that doing is its own reward. Which, of course, it very much is -- that's how you've never heard of them. [↩]