TIFF Film Festival: 40 Years of “Stone Wedding”

Considered one of the films clés of Romanian Cinema, “Stone Wedding” (Nunta de Piatra) directed by Mircea Veroiu and Dan Pița will be shown in a special screening at TIFF 2012 in celebration of it’s 40th anniversary. Drawing more on the heightened realism of indigenous folk ritual and storytelling traditions than on the Socialist Realist intentions of the state, “Stone Wedding” is an almost wordless cine-poem, operating with the most slender of plots but the oldest of narratives.

The movie is an adaptation from the works of Ion Agărbiceanu, with action set in the vicinity of the gold mines in Apuseni Mountains, at the beginning of the 20th century. Two stories unfold; a listless girl is to be married, lovelessly, into the conventional hierarchy of a Romanian town, squatting in a bare, out-of-time landscape. Her mother makes a hard living gathering and breaking rocks, and is soon forced to sell the essential mule for a wedding dress (directed by Mircea Veroiu.) However, come the day, and the attentions of a nomadic musician capture the girl’s eyes and heart (directed by Dan Pița.)

TIFF is also screening “Memory of Stone” (Memoria de Piatra), a documentary by Iosif Demian’s which charts his emotional voyage to return to the places and communities in “Stone Wedding” 40 years film shooting took place. He finds that time and troubled history has ravaged many lives in these traditional Apuseni Mountain villages. “Many of the people died, others have left the country. The houses were often abandoned, desolate” Iosif Demian Joseph recalls. “But people liked us and they opened not only their souls but also their doors, doors that had been locked ever since the owners fled in fear of the communists.”

STONE WEDDING was praised by film critics for its sobriety and power of essentialization, and was selected in Cannes Film Festival, in Semaine de la Critique, în 1973. STONE WEDDING was also awarded several prizes by ACIN (Romanian Association of Cinema): Opera Prima (Dan Pița and Mircea Veroiu), Best Actress (Leopoldina Bălănuță), and won Best Cinematography (Iosif Demian) and Best Main Actress (Leopoldina Bălănuță) at Ciudad De Panama Film Festival.

Nunta de Piatra (Stone Wedding) is being shown at 18.00 on Friday 8th June in Cinema Florin Piersic. Memoria de Piatra (Stone Memories) is being shown at 15.30 on Saturday 9th June in Cinema Arta.

If you cannot make it to the TIFF screening, you can watch online here:

Stone Wedding     Stone Memories

For more information about the TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival), check out their website.

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