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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Romanian director rejects the Medal of the Head of State in protest of neglect of cinema

In a move to express his objection to the neglect of cinema in his country, the Romanian director “Alexander Nanao” refused to receive a medal awarded to him by the Romanian President after winning the admiration of the public and critics for his documentary “Kollectiv”.

The film deals with a nightclub fire that resulted in casualties, and Nanao wanted his move to be a protest against “indifference” towards the cultural sector during the time of the Corona pandemic.

“It would be great hypocrisy on my part to accept this medal while the film industry suffers clinical death,” wrote Nanao, 41, in a letter to President Klaus Iohannes.

The director was finally informed of Yohannes’s decision to award him the “Cultural Merit” medal on the occasion of the Romanian Culture Day on the 15th of this month. However, “Nanao” argued that the Romanian authorities should instead celebrate this day by “implementing concrete solutions to save this sector” because “most of the production companies, independent theaters, cinemas, and distribution companies will be originally closed when the health crisis ends.”

And Bucharest confirmed in recent months that the film sector would receive official aid, but a number of workers in this field said that these promises remained “ink on paper”.

Former US President Barack Obama has included the Nanao documentary in his list of the best films of 2020, and deals with the scandal that followed a fire in the “Kollective” nightclub in Bucharest, which resulted in 64 victims.

Twenty-six people died at the scene of the fire, while 38 others died in the following months, and most of them died as a result of infections they sustained in hospitals.

The film seeks to discover the shortcomings in the Romanian hospital system, which are often caused by corruption, according to Agence France-Presse.

Among the most notable awards that Kollective has received is the European Film Award for Best Documentary Film of 2020, and the Best Foreign Language Film Award from the National Society of Film Critics in the United States in early January.

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