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Tales from the Golden Age(Amintiri din epoca de aur)

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Romania, France · 2009
2h 35m
Director Cristian Mungiu, Hanno Höfer, Constantin Popescu Jr., Ioana Uricaru, Răzvan Marculescu
Starring Tania Popa, Diana Cavallioti, Radu Iacoban, Vlad Ivanov
Genre Comedy, History

The film is composed of six darkly comical short stories that are all set in the late communist period of Romania and are based on urban legends of that era. Each short story reflects the perspective of ordinary citizens who lived in the waning days of the Ceausescu dictatorship.

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Variety by

Though Mungiu's presumed two shorts have the most individual feel, the other helmers -- Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Hoefer, Razvan Marculescu and Constantin Popescu, all feature novices -- show a plethora of styles within the so-called "Romanian New Wave."


Slant Magazine by Andrew Schenker

The first four of the film's 1980s-set episodes are shorter in length and more anecdotal in nature than the last two and deal primarily with the pageantry and inflexible customs behind the regime with a perspective at once amused and bemused.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Sardonic as it may be, Tales From the Golden Age is basically affirmative - its true subject is resilience. Romania suffered under a regime of dangerous stupidity. Drawing on popular memory, Mungiu has orchestrated a contribution to local folklore, a suite of stories in which those rendered witless by oppression were compelled by circumstance to live off their wits.


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Liam Lacey

Though the threat of exposure and incarceration lurk behind every story, the characters' ingenuity and humour serve as impudent alternatives to authoritarian stupidity and brutality.


The New York Times by Stephen Holden

The strongest tales embrace a strain of barnyard humor that is matched by the robust performances of actors who convey an earthy jocularity. The movie doesn't shy away from comparing these hardy, weather-beaten rustics to their livestock.

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