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Romanian Diasporic Cinema. Dislocation and Paraphrastic Forms of Expression in Recent Migration Films

Doru POP


This contribution overviews the transformations of Romanian cinema by analyzing three recent films, used as case studies for describing a larger, typological change happening in contemporary national cinema. La Gomera (The Whistlers, 2019) directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, Parking (2019), directed by Tudor Giurgiu and Lemonade (2019) directed by Ioana Uricaru are united by a common denominator, the fact that they are describing the experiences of Romanians living abroad from a new and personal perspective. These films relevant for their production qualities, since they are shot entirely or partially in a foreign country, but also for their innovative contents. They are depictions of de-localized experiences which allow the viewers to establish a special relationship with the lives of their fellow countrymen living in another country. From a film criticism perspective, these productions are relevant as they clarify the conceptual distinctions between migration cinema, that is films depicting the experience of migrants at home, and diasporic cinema, productions that represent personal stories happening in a foreign social environment. These new narratives also disclose a shift not only in the national cinematic productions, as Romanian film crews are working in international contexts and the actors are using a multilingual form of expression, but also a transformation of larger cinematic forms of expression, from the vernacular to the paraphrastic and alingual forms of filmmaking.

Keywords: accented cinema, alingual, diasporic, exilic, localism, migration, national, paraphrastic, transnational, vernacular

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.23.8