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The Curse of the Hedgehog

DIR: Dumitru Budrala
2004 / Romania / 93 min


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„I care for my donkey more than I do for my for my own man and kids. But now it’d dead. If I had a donkey now, I would live like a member of Parliament”- concludes Turica, one of the main character in the film. She and her relatives wander from village to village, carrying handmades brooms and baskets, which they try to trade for food. The filmmaker goes beyond stereotypes, following an extremely poor Gypsy in their survival winter trips.
The film follows the life of an extended Roma family for a whrole year. They belong to the “Baiesi “group of Roma, who live in extreme poverty. The filmmaker accompanied them on the way from their dwelling place in the mountain to the lowland villages, where they try to trade handmade goods for food or money. These winter tours are survival trips for them, as they have no other income whatsoever. However, the film is more than the story of their struggle to survive. During the 100 minutes, we come to understand why they refuse to work the land, and how they relate to the Romania shepherds, and to the rich Baesi from their village they call “businessmen”, who make large fortunes from selling fake rings abroad. We discover how mythological thinking is activated in their everyday life, along with their Christian Orthodox religiousness. By watching this film, we achieve a better understanding of the absurdities and the pain that fill the lives of these people living on the edge of society, and we come to admire the wit, and the humour, which help them to come through.


Director Dumitru Budrala
Screenplay Dumitru Budrala
Dir. of Photography Dumitru Budrala
Editing Dumitru Budrala, Cristian Melinte, Andrei Gavrila
Sound Dumitru Budrala
Duration 93 min
Year 2004
Country Romania
Colour Colour
Tags ethnic groups, long-term observation, rural society, social issues
Production Csilla Kato
Csilla Kato
Country:  Romania

Distribution Astra Film Foundation
Astra Film Foundation
Address:  Piata Huet 12
City:  550182 Sibiu
Country:  Romania
Web:  www.astrafilm.ro/
Phone:  269210134
Fax:  269210134


International Film Festival Amsterdam ...

International Film Festival Amsterdam, international premier Joris Ivens Competition, 2004

Astra Film Fest, national premier, 2004

Zagrebdox, 2005, Croatia

Thessaloniki Film Fest, 2005, Greece

Film.doc, 2005, Sf Gheorghe, Romania

Deventer, Filmhuis de Keizer, 2005, Holland

Vision du réel 2005, Nyon, Switzerland

Worldfilm, 2005, Tartu, Estonia

Mediawave, 2005, Hungary

Freiburg Film Forum, 2005, Germany

Cronograf 2005, Chisinau, Moldova

NAFA, 2005, Stockholm

Bleed vor Bleed, 2005, Amsterdam

Golden Apricot, Yerevan, Armenia, 2005

RAI, International Film Fest, Oxford, 2005

Amakula Kampla, Uganda, 2005

10 Mostra International do Filme, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

BalkanBlackbox Festival, Berlin, 2005

DokLeizig-International Film Festival of Documentary and Animated film,2005 Leipzig

DOCUPOLIS, 2005, Barcelona

DokMA, Maribor, 2005, Slovenia

Crossing Europe Filmfestival, 2006, Linz, Austria

International Ethnographic Film Festival, 2006 Belgrad

International Roma Film Festival, 2007 London

Dialektus International Documentary Film Festival, 2007 Budapest

Trento International Film Festival, Italy, 2007

New York Roma / Gypsy human rights film festival 2008

Meetings in Siberia, International Documentary Film Festival, 2008, Novosibirsk

Jean Rouch International Documentary Film Festival, 2008, Paris

Ethno Cineca Ethnographic Film Festival, Viena, 2008


Best Documentary Award, Docupolis ...

Best Documentary Award, Docupolis, Barcelona, 2005

Grand Prize at Film.doc, Romania, 2005

Jury Prize International Ethnographic Film Festival, Belgrade, 2005

Jury Prize Dialektus International Film Festival, Budapest 2007




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