Rooster jumps on caravan bandwagon
by Toma Peiu
08/04/2008 - Due to the lack of cinemas in Romania, kino caravans are becoming more and more popular among distributors promoting local films. Such is also the case with Radu Gabrea’s The Beheaded Rooster, a Germany-Austria-Hungary-Romania co-production based on a novel by Saxon author Eginald Schlattner.
The epic film takes place at the end of WWII, when German Saxons lives in Transylvania suffered a dramatic turn, as Romania left the Axis and joined the Allies for the final years of the war. Native Romanian Saxon teenagers, enrolled in the Nazi Youth, will have to make some the most important decisions of their lives.
In April and May, the director will travel with his film all around Transylvania, to towns where theatres have been closed or have no audience at all, including 2007 European Capital of Culture Sibiu and the nearby town of Fagaras, where the story is set, Sighisoara, Bistrita, Agnita, Biertan, Lugoj, Resita, Oravita and Otelu Rosu.
After the premieres in Austria, Germany and Hungary, Rooster’s opening weekend in cinemas in Bucharest and Iasi proved a total flop, with only 762 admissions, but director/co-producer Gabrea is hoping to make an impact in Transylvania, where people should be more interested in a film depicting a specific historical moment of their multi-ethnical region.
This is the third kino caravan Romania is experiencing for the past seven months. Two previous ones promoted Cristian Mungiu’s Palme d’Or winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [trailer, film focus] and Alexandru Solomon’s elegant documentary on Radio Free Europe Romania, Cold Waves, while the fourth might be that of the 7th edition the Transylvania International Film Festival (May 30-June 8, Cluj-Napoca), scheduled for this summer.