“Aferim! is an exceptional, deeply intelligent gaze into a key historical period, done with wit as well as anger…Unquestionably, Aferim! is made with the intelligent arthouse consumer in mind…Especially striking is ace lenser Marius Panduru’s terrific 35mm black-and-white visuals, keenly attentive to a sense of tone and reminiscent at times of 19th-century photographs.”
"Jude and his co-writer, novelist Florin Lazarescu, draw on real accounts of gypsy slavery for inspiration. Crucially, they also manage to make this grim topic both funny and personal, not a dour social-realist sermon…Do not be fooled by the playful, irreverent tone. Behind its attractive surface sheen of lusty humor and ravishing visuals, this Trojan Horse drama makes some spiky topical points about the lingering scars of slavery, feudalism, misogyny and racism.”
"Delicious and wicked as the dialogue is — the insults and epithets are Shakespeare with a hard-R rating — the fire that fuels the film's engine is a lot more serious…The current of informed anger, directed at those who stand by while injustice and bigotry flourish, is unmistakable… But really, what makes "Aferim!" (which means "Bravo!" incidentally) such a unique cinephile experience is that you get to say, truthfully, that you've seen a black and white, period Romanian art-house movie that intelligently dissects and contextualizes the historical roots of racism, and no one need ever know you've just had a blast."
“An unambigious, resonating critique of the country’s shameful treatment of its Roma minority…Stylish, full of nuance and commentary…” – Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily
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“Aliyah Dada is one of the most pleasant and refreshing surprises of the contemporary Romanian cinema. Oana Giurgiu’s documentary is a personal, very well documented and intelligently presented investigation about the history of Jewish presence in Romania.” (Film Magazine, Romania)
Renowned Romanian producer Oana Giurgiu’s (Child’s Pose) directorial debut is a witty and frank exploration of Jewish Romanians’ emigration to the Holy Land over the last 130 years. Surprisingly eloquent and intimate, it’s made in a Dadaesque style as a tribute to the pioneers of the radical art movement, Tristan Tzara—who was born in the same town from which the first Romanian Jews emigrated to Palestine in 1882—and Marcel Janco.
Reveling in the absurdities and contradictions embedded in the story, Aliyah Dada also reveals the hidden horrors of World War II in Romania, the Communists’ secret deals for trading Jews to Israel, and the influence of 400,000 Romanians (now the fourth largest group of immigrants in the population) on Israeli culture.