Censored Theatre and Cinema Ad-hoc Collection at CNSAS
The Censored Theatre and Cinema Ad-hoc Collection at CNSAS (the Romanian acronym for the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives – Consiliul Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității) illustrates how the Archives of the former Romanian secret police, the Securitate, recorded the intervention of censorship to hinder the development of cultural opposition in Romanian theatre and cinema during the communist regime. The documents of the collection show that despite the gradual strengthening of political control over the cultural sphere beginning with the late 1960s, Romanian directors and actors managed on several occasion to bypass censorship. As a result their artistic work running counter to the official cannon, which reinforced socialist realism after the Theses of July 1971, reached a large audience, albeit only for a short period. This collection highlights the case of one of the few Romanian directors banned by the communist regime, Lucian Pintilie. His biography epitomises the destiny of a Romanian artist whose refusal to reach any compromise with the political authorities contributed to his marginalisation in Romanian cultural life while at the same time his work was acclaimed abroad.
București Strada Matei Basarab 55, Romania 030167
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Provenance and cultural activities
The Censored Theatre and Cinema Ad-hoc Collection at CNSAS (the Romanian acronym for the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives – Consiliul Național pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securității) reflects the development of cultural opposition in the field of theatre and cinema during the Romanian communist regime. It will show how actors and directors found meaningful ways of opposing communist censorship and expressing artistic visions that usually ran counter to the official cannon of socialist realism. Of the five fonds of the archives of the former Romanian secret police, the Securitate, the documents of the Censored Theatre and Cinema Ad-hoc Collection can be found in three: the Documentary Fonds, the Informative Fonds, and the fonds created by the external department of the Securitate, which had different names over time, but is mostly known under the short name DIE (the Romanian acronym for the Directorate for Foreign Intelligence – Direcția de Informații Externe). The files in the Documentary Fonds describe the situation of Romanian theatre and cinema, especially during the 1970s and 1980s, when the communist regime was striving to consolidate its control over the cultural sphere. The files about Romanian theatre trace the internal conflicts between groups of actors and directors that entered into competition with each other to gain control over the institutions in question, their relations with high-ranking Party and state officials and especially, the unfolding of the censorship mechanism, with an emphasis on its last phase, the so-called “ideological screenings.” During these screenings censors or cultural activists usually asked the director to carry out mandatory changes in order for the premiere of the play to take place. The reports and informative notes recorded not only the observations of the censors or cultural activists about the content of the plays under ideological screening but also the complicated relations and very often the complicity between the censors or cultural activists and the theatres’ directors and management, which allowed the latter to sideline the rigid guidelines in the cultural sphere. Another point of interest for the Securitate, and thus reflected in its reports, internal correspondence and collected informative notes, was the means used by directors and actors to elude or diminish the effects of censorship so that a play could still address some of the social and political problems of contemporary Romanian society critically although in an artistically disguised manner. The Securitate’s documents also take note of the opinions expressed by directors and actors concerning the intervention of the censors or cultural activists in order to ensure a correct political content of plays and the banning of some of them for the same reasons of ideological rigour. In this context it should be mentioned that the Securitate’s surveillance covered the theatres in Bucharest and in other Romanian cities and that among the authors whose plays were highly censored or banned were classic writers, such as Ion Luca Caragiale, and writers with powerful connections with the official establishment, such as the president of the Union of Romanian Writers, D.R. Popescu. As a result, the Securitate’s documents (reports, internal correspondence between its branches, informative notes) record the scandal produced by the staging of D.R. Popescu’s play Mormântul călărețului avar (The tomb of the Avar horseman), in 1980–1981 in Brașov and Bucharest, as the play shed a negative light on recent developments in Romanian society, such as the collectivisation of agriculture and the repression against the peasantry and political opponents, and the doubtful morality of members of the regime. Special attention is given to Mircea Cornișteanu’s directing activity as a production of his of Marin Sorescu’s play Există nervi (There are nerves) was banned before its premiere and another of a well-known play of I.L. Caragiale’s O scrisoare pierdută (A lost letter) had its premiere in 1988 at the National Theatre in Craiova. The reports and internal correspondence from the year 1988 underline that after several performances the play by I.L. Caragiale was suspended at the initiative of the Securitate, which noticed lines with dangerous double meanings, mistreatment of the national flag, and the mysterious character of the bogie man that alluded to Nicolae Ceaușescu. He wore black clothes, while attentively and suspiciously supervised the development of the events and protecting the representative of the central government. After Cornișteanu implemented the changes suggested by the censor or cultural activist, performances were resumed with great success among the local audience. The files in the Documentary Fonds about Romanian cinema also approach issues pertaining to personal conflicts in the film studios, the conflicting relations between directors, actors, and the management of the film studios, or between them and the censors or other cultural authorities involved in the supervision of cultural production. Covering the period from the 1960s to the 1980s, the documents (reports, internal correspondence and informative notes) describe the functioning of the censorship mechanism that led to the banning of several Romanian films. Apart from identifying the main reason behind these decisions, the Securitate’s documents also record the development of the cultural opposition of Romanian directors who refused compromise with the political authorities or managed somehow to trick the watchful eye of the censorship even for a short period of time and to have their films screened in cinemas. As a result, the materials gathered by the Romanian secret police describe the circumstances in which the 1962 film Țărmul n-are sfârșit (The shore has no end) by Mircea Săucan (1928–2003) was banned from public screening. They also record the context in which Săucan’s other film Meandre (Meanders) of 1967 was banned from public screening shortly after its official premiere. Meandre tells the story of three intellectuals (architects) who are forced to give up their freedom of creation and non-conformism and surrender in the face of an unfavourable social and cultural context. Săucan’s struggle against censorship and his unwillingness to compromise with the political authorities is best captured in the episode of his 1973 film 100 lei. The film approached the theme of the innocent young rebel whose dreams and enthusiasm were crushed by social conformism. Given his refusal to implement the changes outlined by the censors, the film had its premiere without the director’s approval and only after it had been “mutilated” by ill-intentioned people. Other documents record the official steps that Mircea Săucan followed to emigrate to Israel. Parts of the files on cinema focus on the banning of Lucian Pintilie’s films, Reconstituirea (Re-enactment,1969) and De ce trag clopotele, Mitică? (Why are the bells ringing, Mitică?, 1981), given their implicit criticism of the communist authorities and conformism shown by Romanians toward political power. The last decade of communism in Romania saw other attempts to bring nonconformist actions in cultural realm under control and the Securitate’s documents faithfully record these. Dan Pița’s 1983 Faleze de nisip (Sand cliffs) was barred from public screening only two or three days after its premiere in view of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s criticism expressed during a high-level meeting on cultural problems in August 1983, known as Consfătuirea de la Mangalia (The Mangalia discussion). The film tells the story of a young worker who is accused by a doctor of stealing his personal belongings from the beach. Convinced that his social position is a solid proof to support his accusations, the doctor intervenes in the investigation and tries to force the young man to confess his crime. Despite the repercussions he is subjected to (unemployment, time in prison) the young worker proves to be psychological stronger than expected. The film was banned not only because it was an indictment of the abuse of power and repression against the powerless but also because, in Nicolae Ceaușescu’s opinion, it denigrated the working class and failed to serve the generous purpose assigned to art, that of fostering the creation of the so-called New Socialist Man. The Securitate also investigated the circumstances in which Mircea Daneliuc’s film Croaziera (The cruise, 1982) was passed for public screening but then banned shortly after its premiere. Apart from a critical radiography of Romanian society, which is blamed for accepting opportunism and moral compromise with authority, the film is also about a “helmsman (…) ignorant and incompetent, obtuse and ridiculous who drives his ship to disaster amid the sound of fanfare” (Căliman 2011, 386). The director was making a blunt allusion to the Romanian leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, whom Romanian propaganda often identified as a “helmsman” and whose bad political decisions brought the country to the brink of economic collapse during the 1980s against the background of his flourishing cult of personality. The Securitate’s documents also take notice of Nicolae Oprițescu’s film Sezonul pescărușilor (Seagull season, 1984), the last movie banned by the communist regime. The film tells the story of an intellectual theft: a chief engineer steals the research work of one of his subordinates for his PhD thesis but in the end the Party secretary intervenes and set things straight. Despite its benign plot, the film was banned because it was about an intellectual theft in chemistry and this might have offended Nicolae Ceaușescu’s wife, Elena whose entire academic career in chemistry was built on intellectual theft from her subordinates. The rest of the documents, especially informative notes and reports, record the opinions of the artists and directors on the banning of films, and the abusive involvement of the censorship in their work (ACNSAS, D 013147).
Among the few Romanian directors whose work in both cinema and theatre was banned by the communist authorities is Lucian Pintilie. His biography and professional activity are representative for the destinies of those Romanian artists who dared to oppose the communist regime and refused any compromise with it. The two files created by the former Romanian secret police, the Securitate, about Lucian Pintilie belong to the Informative Fonds. Additionally, due to the fact that he worked abroad from the mid-1970s and regularly had to get an exit visa, the external department of the Securitate compiled another file for this purpose. The informative surveillance files (dosare de urmărire informativă) on Lucian Pintilie cover his professional career roughly from 1960 to the mid-1980s. They describe not only the development of Pintilie’s cultural opposition towards the communist regime but also the inner workings of censorship both in theatre and film industry. The materials in the files do not observe a strict chronological order. Documents from different years are mingled and they are usually placed in the files in reverse chronological order. The first two-volume informative surveillance file against the name “Pan,” as the Securitate nicknamed Lucian Pintilie, starts with a report dated in January 1976 that closes their informative surveillance of him. This was due to the fact that since 1973 he had worked abroad and he had not engaged himself in any “hostile actions” towards the communist regime. The following documents placed in reverse chronological order trace the development of the Securitate’s informative surveillance of the Romanian director, mainly in connection with the suppression of the public performances of his theatrical production of Gogol’s The Inspector General (Revizorul) As a result, the file contains periodical reports covering the years from 1972 to 1976 on the results of their informative surveillance of Pintilie and plans of measures designed to improve the collection of information about his activity of cultural opposition. Moreover, as suggested in the plans of measures, the Securitate successfully infiltrated “sources” in his closed circle of friends and acquaintances and also had its informers in the Lucia Sturdza Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest where Pintilie worked from 1960 until 1973. Consequently, the file contains numerous informative notes signed by colleagues and acquaintances recording his reactions after the suppression of the public performance of Gogol’s play, the ideas that stood behind his cultural opposition toward the communist regime and how the suppression of his production reinforced the power of censorship over the entire theatrical world. The reports and the informative notes mention that Lucian Pintilie began his work on Gogol’s The Inspector General in 1971. The screenplay was in fact an adaptation after the original play and the director’s radical interventions aimed at updating the text in order to address critically and ridicule realities in communist Romania and the neighbouring Soviet Union. The problematic aspects identified by the Securitate’s “sources” and by the censors concerned lines with hidden meanings conveyed by replacing certain words to create the impression that the events described in the play reflected contemporary realities. Some of these lines deride the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev and well-known Russian cultural traditions. From the official point of view, these elements could have upset the Soviet officials in Bucharest and could have had a negative impact on bilateral relations. Moreover, Pintilie’s reinterpretation of Gogol’s play underlined the corruption of the local authorities and especially their servility and willingness to please the representatives of the government even by organising a traditional Romanian welcome for them with salt and bread. This was a blunt allusion to and a direct ridicule of the welcoming ceremony organised by local officials to greet Nicolae Ceaușescu during his many “working visits” to factories and agricultural farms across the country. Because Pintilie refused to make the requested changes proposed by the censors, rehearsals for the play were aborted in July 1971. The blunt intervention of the censorship in banning the play could also be explained in terms of the general political context. That same month, Nicolae Ceaușescu presented his infamous “Theses of July,” which practically ended the ideological and cultural “thaw” that had marked the beginning of his leadership. In September 1972, Lucian Pintilie allegedly went back on his decision but after only three performances with a restricted audience in October 1972 the play was banned for good. The decision not only angered Pintilie and enforced his opposition to the communist regime on cultural matters, it also produced several unwanted changes for the Lucia Sturdza Bulandra Theatre and other similar institutions. The Securitate’s “sources” recorded Pintilie complaining in public about the fact that his artistic work was banned because the censors were always looking for hidden subversive meanings. He gave the example of his film Reconstituirea (Re-enactment), which was banned in 1969 for allegedly unsound reasons as he had intentionally given the militia man “the role of the one who brings justice because militia is militia, and the prosecutor (…) is the expression of objectivity, detached from mundane things and representing that supreme way of arbitrating law enforcement.” Liviu Ciulei, another well-known Romanian director, was removed from his position as the head of the theatre where Pintilie staged his play for “severe political errors.” The informative notes collected by the Securitate and included in the “Pan” file record the opinions of the actors regarding the removal of Liviu Ciulei and their mixed opinions about Pintilie’s noncompliant attitude toward the requests of the censors. Moreover, some of the Securitate’s “sources” showed in their notes from the end of 1972 that actors regularly discussed the banning of Pintilie’s production. As a result of his daring gesture, censorship was strengthened and actors were intimidated because every play was reviewed by censors seven times before it gained official approval for public performance. The reports and informative notes from 1973 to January 1976, when the informative surveillance ended, trace the beginning of Lucian Pintilie’s successful career abroad: he directed two films for Yugoslav national television and a play for a theatre in Paris. The Securitate became also interested in Pintilie’s foreign contacts and its reports and several informative notes included in the “Pan” file faithfully record his connections with the Romanian exile community in Paris and especially with the Romanian desk of Radio Free Europe. Despite his international success, the Romanian cultural authorities refused Pintilie’s projects on the ground that his “perspective” on life and art did not comply with the requirements of the socialist realism enforced after the Theses of July 1971. As a result the informative notes and reports of informative surveillance dated between 1973 and 1974 record his discontent at his “lack of freedom of creation” and the subordination of art to politics in Romania. Related to this, Pintilie explained his cultural opposition by bluntly stating that he refused any kind of compromise with the political authorities regarding his artistic work. He also added that the only politics he understood was “the art of the performance through which I serve the people” and just as Nicolae Ceaușescu was “a political genius and he deals with politics” in the same vein he had “the genius of the performance” and he dealt with that. Besides recording his oppositional views on cultural matters, the documents include the reports and photographs of the stakeouts organised by the Securitate in October and November 1972 to monitor “the hostile activities” of their objective “Pan” and also several transcripts of his discussions with actors and directors (ACNSAS I 52 vol.1, ff. 1–260 f-v).
The second volume of the informative file traces, again in reverse chronological order, Lucian Pintilie’s activity between 1961 and 1966. It opens with the decision to close the verification file (dosar de verificare) that the Securitate had opened against his name in November 1961. Lucian Pintilie was suspected of “counter-revolutionary activities” and the verification, which lasted for seven months, resulted in the beginning of the Securitate’s informative surveillance of him and also of Liviu Ciulei, another Romanian director who was also Pintilie’s close friend. The Securitate drafted a plan of measures in order to verify the “hostile” activities of the young Pintilie. As a result the documents that follow are reports and informative notes regarding Pintilie’s behaviour and the “counter-revolutionary” actions that brought him to the attention of the Securitate. Apart from providing basic biographical data, these materials focus on his first acts of cultural opposition. After graduation from the Ion Luca Caragiale Institute of Theatre and Film in Bucharest, Lucian Pintilie began to work as a director at TVR (Romanian National Television) and the Army Theatre. He was removed from the Army Theatre in 1959 due to his rebellious attitude toward its management, frequent conflicts with the actors and “hostile” remarks about the communist regime and its socialist-realist art, and in the same year he lost his position at TVR due to his refusal to direct “crap” as he called the political broadcasts. In fact, his main fault was that he stubbornly declined to direct the festive political show that TVR scheduled on 7 November 1959 to mark the anniversary of the October Revolution. As a result, the programme was poorly prepared and failed to meet the expected political and artistic standards. Apart from informative notes and reports describing this episode in detail, the file also includes a copy of the official decision taken by the management of TVR to remove Pintilie from his position and several personal characterisations of him made by the personnel department of the two institutions where Pintilie worked and also by people who knew him. In 1960 he met Liviu Ciulei and began to work at the Lucia Sturdza Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest. One interesting document in the file shows that in November 1960 the Securitate actually considered arresting Pintilie, in view of his refusal to direct the television programme scheduled on 7 November 1959 and his “hostile manifestation toward the regime and socialist-realist art” while he worked at the Army Theatre, but for unknown reasons this intention ended in the opening of a verification file in 1961. Going backwards in time, the documents describe the life of the rebel Lucian Pintilie while he was a student at the Faculty of Theatre Directing at the Ion Luca Caragiale Institute of Theatre and Film in Bucharest and also for a short time an “unqualified informer” of the Securitate. Of the several documents included in the file about his student years, only one document from 1960 mentions Pintilie’s brief collaboration with the Securitate. The other materials, especially informative notes from 1952 mention his nonconformist and rebellious attitude on several instances. While attending the rally organised to celebrate May Day, Pintilie not only refused to join his colleagues in shouting the assigned political slogans but also made a terrible noise so that the shouted slogans could not be heard clearly. Moreover, during a political meeting Pintilie dared to challenge the political activist. When the latter remarked on the persecutions the communists had been subjected to by the police during the interwar period, Pintilie remarked ironically that political opponents were now “sent to the Canal” (referring to the Danube–Black Sea Canal, which was under construction at the beginning of the 1950s and also functioned as a place of physical extermination of the political opponents of the communist regime) “to build socialism.” The last documents in the file cover the years 1965 and 1966 and they describe the same rebellious Lucian Pintilie working as a director at the Lucia Sturdza Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest, interested in staging an anti-communist satire and ignoring the official censorship. At the same time several documents from 1966 describe in detail the Securitate’s plans for preparing Pintilie’s recruitment as its “source” given his foreign contacts and frequent trips abroad and how the preliminary meetings had taken place. Although Lucian Pintilie agreed to discuss his artistic plans and foreign contacts with the Securitate officer, no explanations were provided about the failure of his recruitment (ACNSAS I 52 vol.2, ff. 1-101 f-v).
The second informative file against the name of Lucian Pintilie focuses on his career as a film director in Romania. After the banning of his film Reconstituirea (Re-enactment) in 1969 and his production of Gogol’s The Inspector General in 1971, the Romanian authorities refused to endorse any of his projects, forcing him to work abroad. In 1979 he was allowed a comeback with a film based on Ion Luca Caragiale’s play D’ale Carnavalului (Carnival scenes). The film was a free adaptation of the play and it was renamed De ce trag clopotele, Mitică? (Why are the bells ringing, Mitică?). Although the action was set at the turn of the nineteenth century, the film sets out a strong political and social criticism that hints at the situation in Romania during the 1980s: a morally decaying society engaged in performing the rituals of democracy without actually comprehending its essence and happy to blindly obey the authorities without questioning their decisions (Batori 2018, 47–50). The informative file traces the efforts made by the Romanian director to get official approval to finish his film. After its first screening in June 1981 the censorship decided to prevent Pintilie from continuing his work on it. A report from August 1981 describes the actions taken by the director to defend his film and his intention of getting support for finishing it from the Party and state leaders. Pintilie’s interventions proved to be fruitful as another screening of the film took place at the end of October 1981. The report from November 1981 mentions that the screening was attended by the highest decision-makers in cultural matters and the final decision conditioned the continuing of filming with the removal of certain scenes considered to be “inappropriate.” Given Pintilie’s refusal to cut the “incriminated” scenes, the authorities decided to stop the shooting of the film. As a report from 1982 shows, he resumed work on the film in the spring of 1982 but he decided again to ignore the cultural activists’ recommendations. Consequently, another report from September 1984 mentions that Pintilie has decided to contact the cultural authorities about the premiere of the film. However this event could only take place after the collapse of the communist regime. The documents that follow covering the period between 1984 and 1986 describe other elements of Pintilie’s cultural opposition. As revealed by the informative notes and reports, he repeatedly stated on various occasions that intellectuals had the moral duty to remain in the country and save “Romanian spirituality” from “the brutal forces of ignorance.” Consequently, he encouraged Romanian intellectuals to take an active stance against the communist regime and to refuse any compromise with it. Pintilie also used his trips to Romania to collect valuable information about the cultural policy of the regime, about the fate of marginalised and persecuted intellectuals, and to pass it on to Monica Lovinescu and other members of the exile community who worked for the Romanian desk of Radio Free Europe. A substantial report from January 1985 records that Lucian Pintilie is also making use of his reputation abroad to speak against the communist regime and its cultural officials. Moreover, in order to appease Pintilie the same report mentions that the cultural authorities have sent copies of his films upon request and allowed him to screen them during a festival in the United States and have also promised their support for his future film projects. Despite their conciliatory attitude, the Romanian authorities and especially the Securitate suspected Lucian Pintilie of the leakage of information about the internal situation in Romania to Radio Free Europe. The remainder of the documents focus on envisaged measures designed to temper Lucian Pintilie’s criticism of the regime and its cultural polices and also describe the support he had shown for the courageous Romanian intellectuals who decided to refuse political compromise with the authorities.
The last file in the collection was created by the external department of the Securitate and it deals with practical issues concerning the issuing of exit visas for Lucian Pintilie. In communist Romania, if someone wanted to travel abroad he or she had to apply for a passport with an exit visa. Before receiving the passport their past was thoroughly checked by the Securitate to find out if the person in question once arrived in the West was likely to remain there and engage in oppositional actions against the Romanian regime. Because he staunchly refused to compromise with the regime and its censorship apparatus regarding the content of his art, Pintilie was forced from 1973 to work mainly outside the country. The file is composed of documents that trace the entire process of granting or extending his exist visas from 1973 to 1988. Consequently, it contains pieces of correspondence between the Romanian Embassy in Paris, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (or Ministry of Interior) and its specialised body for the issue of passports and exist visas and also the cultural authorities whose agreement was mandatory for granting the visas. As a result, the file includes reports made by these state institutions explaining Pintilie’s situation as an exiled director and approving all his requests for visas, together with the forms filled in by Pintilie himself to get the desired exist visas. The documents also contain blunt mentions of the interventions made by important Party and state leaders on his behalf in order to facilitate the issuing of exit visas. In this context it should be mentioned that Lucian Pintilie enjoyed a privileged status because he was not only allow to travel freely in Europe and United States but could also return to Romania whenever he wished (ACNSAS X 49010 vol. 1).
Description of content
The documents in the Censored Theatre and Cinema Ad-hoc Collection at CNSAS were organised by the Romanian secret police, the Securitate, according to its operational interests and bureaucratic rules, into three categories of files: files in the Documentary Fonds about cinema and theatre, files in the Informative Fonds regarding the informative surveillance of the Romanian director Lucian Pintilie (nicknamed “Pan”by the Securitate) for his refusal to reach to a compromise with the communist regime concerning his artistic perspective on events (the so-called informative surveillance files – dosare de urmărire informativă), and a file created by the Securitate’s external department about the granting of a passport and exist visas for the same Lucian Pintilie. The files in the Documentary Fonds contain reports, internal correspondence and informative notes of the Securitate’s “sources” about the situation in the main theatres and film studios in Bucharest. It can be seen that the Securitate was interested in identifying the groups of actors and directors that entered in competition with each other to gain control over the institutions in question, their connections with the highest Party and state leaders, the impact of censorship on the functioning of theatres and films studios, the monitoring of theatre productions and film screenings to ensure their “correct political content,” and the prevention of any acts of cultural opposition mounted by actors and directors alike. Among the cases in which the Securitate opened an informative surveillance file against the name of a Romanian director was that of Lucian Pintilie. Because he had constantly refused a compromise with the communist regime on matters related to his artistic activity, his films and a play were banned and thus never reached a large audience. The informative surveillance files on Pintilie contains official decisions to open a verification file and later on an informative surveillance file against his name, plans of measures designed to collect valuable information about his oppositional activities, reports and informative notes. They trace the destiny of the young and rebellious Lucian Pintilie as a student, the beginning of his career as a director at the Romanian National Television and at two theatres in Bucharest, the banning of his movie Reconstituirea (Re-enactment) in 1969 and his production of Gogol’s The Inspector General in 1971, and the development of his successful artistic activity abroad due to his staunch refusal to make concessions to the communist regime and its cultural policies. The files record his short-lived cinema comeback in Romania in 1979 to direct the film De ce trag clopotele, Mitică? (Why are the bells ringing, Mitică?) and the difficulties he encountered in finishing it due to the opposition of the cultural activists, who decided in the end to ban it from public screening. Apart from recording his acts of cultural opposition, the informative surveillance file includes the reports and photographs of the stakeouts organised by the Securitate in October and November 1972 to monitor Pintilie’s “hostile activities” and transcriptions of his conversations with colleagues and acquaintances. The informative notes and reports of the Securitate also underline that Pintilie encouraged Romanian intellectuals to take an active stance against the communist regime and to refuse any compromise with it and how he used his trips to Romania to collect valuable information about the cultural policy of the regime and the fate of persecuted intellectuals, and pass it on to Radio Free Europe. The external department of the Securitate also created a distinct file dealing with issuing of exit visas for Lucian Pintilie. Although the Romanian cultural authorities refused to endorse any of his projects, Lucian Pintilie enjoyed a privileged status, as he was allowed to travel freely in Europe and United States and return to Romania whenever he wished. Consequently, the file contains the correspondence between the state institutions involved in granting him the required visas, the forms filled in by Pintilie himself in order to obtain visas, and also the reports made by the same state institutions explaining Pintilie’s situation as an exiled director and their approval of the extending of his stay abroad (ACNSAS X 49010 vol. 1).
- grey literature (regular archival documents such as brochures, bulletins, leaflets, reports, intelligence files, records, working papers, meeting minutes): 1000-
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
- photos: 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Marin, Manuela
ACNSAS, Informative Fonds, file 52, vol. 1–2; Informative Fonds, file 235; X 49010 vol. 1.
Batori, Anna. 2018. Space in Romanian and Hungarian Cinema. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Căliman, Călin. 2011. Istoria filmului românesc, 1897-2017 (The history of Romanian film, 1897–2017). București: Contemporanul.
Colăcel, O. 2018. The Romanian Cinema of Nationalism: Historical Films as Propaganda and Spectacle, Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Malița, Liviu. 2006. Cenzura în teatru: Documente, 1948-1989 (Censorship in theatre: Documents, 1948–1989). Cluj-Napoca: Efes.
Malița, Liviu. 2006. Viața teatrală în și după comunism (Theatre life during and after communism).Cluj-Napoca: Efes.
Popa, Andrei. 2018. “Faleze de nisip sfidează comunismul” (Sand cliffs defies communism). Historia, November 16. https://www.historia.ro/sectiune/general/articol/filmul-faleze-de-nisip-sfideaza-comunismul.
Petrescu, Dragoș, interview by Marin, Manuela, June 14, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection