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  Unforgettable Summer


An Unforgettable Summer, Franco-Romanian co-production, 1994

Director: Lucian Pintilie


Annette Insdorf, "Film: A Romanian Director Tells a Tale of Ethnic Madness," The New York Times, section 2, November 6, 1994

Caryn James, "Film Review: Right vs. Realities in Romania," The New York Times, section C, November 11, 1994

The screenplay is written from a short story entitled "The Lettuce" by Petre Dumitriu.

The plot takes place in Southern Dobrudja in 1924. Romania had annexed this area in 1913. Large numbers of minorities-Tatars, Turks, and Bulgarians-inhabited the region as well as Romanians, and borders were still insecure. Pintilie uses the film to portray Romanian rule at the time from the point of view of the rulers, the minorities, and a kind of "Western" observer.


Main Characters:

Petru Dumitriu, officer in the Romanian army

Marie-Therese, Dumitriu's wife

Dumitriu's superior officer

the Dumitrius' children

Questions for Discussion


  1. What is the nationality of Marie-Therese and how does this play into the film in several ways?
  2. If you were to judge by this film, how was Romania ruled in the inter-war period? Can one say that there was a democratic government in inter-war Romania? Was there a "meritocracy" in inter-war Romania?
  3. What is the relationship between the reality depicted here and the Minorities Protection Treaty whose text you read under Topic 5? Was the Treaty necessary? How could the Romanian government circumvent the Treaty?
  4. How do you think this film was received in Romania in 1994?


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