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Greetings from Crîngași

Greetings from Crîngași (Radu Jude x Shigeru Umebayashi, 2023)

NotesPart of Special Issue1: 25X250

This short is much like a coda to Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World; the same neighbourhood featured here was also more consistently explored there.

Radu Jude-san’s camera first looked at the Crângași Market about ten years ago, with Everybody in Our Family (2012). We now have the reverse shot. Nothing has really changed—these are our memories of capitalistic underdevelopment. Progress is measured by the new slab of paint, but there is an eerie feeling that time has indeed passed. The confectionery, the pharmacy, the invasive chain supermarket, they all have remained in the same place, whereas all around them small shops owned by individuals are forced to close up each month. Jude-san goes just a bit farther than in 2012, to show three more pharmacies, three betting parlours and two exchange and pawn shops. To a foreigner this panorama of buildings may mean nothing, but to the Bucharestian it will mean everything. Not any kind of image, but MEGA IMAGE. These few seconds are a bestiary for the forces that are at play in the city’s local brand of urbanism, all chaotic, all greedy, all thinking that a new glass façade will patch things up. But these images will also mean everything to a Bucharestian because this on the screen is where we wait for the bus, where we do our groceries, this is our prosaic, everyday reality that we’ve never imagined could even be mentioned in the same sentence a the words ‘film festival’. I’ve had my first kiss just across the street.

Ah, this film (?!) also features a very beautiful piece of music. Congratulations, Mr. Umebayashi.