Past haunts present in Romania Cultural Marathon films

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‘Miss Christina’

By Bill Stamets/For Sun-Times Media

Tragic legacies — political, natural and supernatural — link three dramas in the Romanian Cultural Marathon, Friday through Sunday at Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton. Under the banner “From Local to Global, Art & Culture for a Cause,” the Romanian Cultural Exchange also offers a weekend of guest speakers and Romanian-language theater.

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ROMANIAN CULTURAL MARATHON

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: Facets Cinematheque, 1517 W. Fullerton

Passes: $15-$45

Info: http://www.facets.org/

cinematheque

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Ceausescu-era nostalgia is evoked in “I’m an Old Communist Hag” when a film crew seeks extras for something called “Life During Communism.” Employing humanist humor, Stere Gulea adapts Dan Lungu’s 2007 novel. Luminita Gheorghiu from “Child’s Pose” plays a 60-year old die-hard dealing with a new economy and her daughter’s upcoming marriage to an underemployed American. (Screens 9 p.m. Friday, after 7 p.m. cocktail party and other events.)

A rural widower recovers from an epochal flood in “The Japanese Dog” (6 p.m. Saturday), Romania’s entry for a foreign-language film Oscar. Director Tudor Cristian Jiurgiu relates a distant son showing up with his Japanese wife, their little boy and a toy dog. The sentiment is subtle.

In “Miss Christina” (7:30 p.m. Sunday), the ghost of a woman who died in 1907 wreaks romantic havoc in 1935. Nodding to Dr. Caligari, director Alexandru Maftei adapts a story by Mircea Eliade, the late U. of C. prof whose 1980 novella “Youth Without Youth” was more impressively adapted by Francis Ford Coppola.

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