The Dead Nation

Fragments of Parallel Lives

A documentary-essay, Țara moartă shows a collection of photographs from a small Romanian town in the 1930s and 1940s. The soundtrack, composed mostly of excerpts taken from the diary of a Jewish doctor from the same era, depicts what the photographs do not: the rising of antisemitism and eventually the harrowing depiction of the Romanian persecution of the Jews, a subject rarely talked in contemporary Romania.
[ Romania | 2017 | DCP | Black and White | 83′ ]


Production company: Hi Film
Director-screenwriter-cinematographer: Radu Jude
Producer: Ada Solomon
Sound designer: Dana Bunescu
Editor: Catalin Cristutiu
Sales: HiFilm, Bucharest (

The Dead Nation (2017) di Radu Jude

The Dead Nation (2017) di Radu Jude

All’interno della sempre brillante cinematografia rumena contemporanea, […] The dead nation è probabilmente, a oggi, il film migliore di Radu Jude, quello che più osa linguisticamente, e al contempo quello che meglio approfondisce i documenti storici di cui è fatto, lasciando che la realtà del tempo emerga dai suoi lasciti, dai suoi documenti, dai suoi segnali di vita.

Marco Romagna

The Dead Nation Film Review, Locarno 2017

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The Dead Nation is a disarmingly simple idea, executed with a bold artistic flair that straddles experimental and more traditional documentary techniques; Jude has pulled off that rare feat of crafting a highly accessible but complex, ambiguous and significant work of cinematic art.

Neil Young

Ţara Moartă – o metaforă politică mai zdrobitoare decît Clasa moartă

Ca şi Kantor mereu prezent pe scenă, inclusiv în Clasa Moartă, şi Radu Jude a ţinut să fie prezent în Ţara Moartă, dincolo de scenariu şi regie, şi prin vocea sa, nu doar ca un gest de “asumare foarte personală a întregului demers cinematografic”, cum observă criticul Ionuţ Mareş, ci mai ales pentru a feri confesiunile doctorului Emil Dorian de orice artificiu specific tehnicilor actoriceşti.

Nina Tintar

TIFF 2017 Part 4

A seat in the dark

THE DEAD NATION is an essay using a collection of still photographs by Costica Axinte of the people of one small Romanian town in the 30s and 40s. […] A hard watch, that deserves to be seen both internally and elsewhere.

Sheila Seacroft

One World Romania 2017: ”The Dead Nation”, by Radu Jude – Work in progress

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The juxtaposing of the two sources, narrative and visual, is original and it has a strong impact and it opens a discussion about a historic period that very few things are known about and about which people rarely speak of. Following Aferim! and Inimi cicatrizate, this is the third time that Radu Jude digs deep asking questions about the past of our country.

Dana Medar

Locarno 2017: The Dead Nation von Radu Jude

Man könnte die letzten drei Filme des Rumänen Radu Jude als eine Trilogie der vergrabenen Geschichte(n) bezeichnen. In Aferim!, Scarred Hearts und jetzt auch The Dead Nation hat das neue Goldkind des Rumänischen Kinos einen ganz individuellen Weg gefunden, um hinter die Mechanismen von Bildern zu schauen.

Patrick Holzapfel

Le immagini mancanti

Ancora una volta Radu Jude, con The Dead Nation presentato a Locarno 2017, costruisce un’opera perfettamente sospesa tra realismo e poesia.

Giampiero Raganelli

Stripping Down Deceptions: Radu Jude and “The Dead Nation”


The Dead Nation is not a film about showing something that was buried, it is about burying something that was shown. I was told that the photographs of Costică Acsinte are very popular in the perception of a rosy view of the Romanian past. Their aesthetic purity and innocence is radically questioned by the film.

Patrick Holzapfel


I’m Not Fond of Nostalgia

So, in the end, the movie is built on the parallel between these three elements: the photographs, Dorian’s text, and the Carlist, legionary, Antonescian, and communist sound bites.

Luiza Vasiliu

Radu Jude Discusses Historical Guilt, Images’ Ability to Hide

A rare exception among recent Romanian slice-of-life films that strive for maximum authenticity, “The Dead Nation” uses the images with a historiographer’s skepticism about the comprehensiveness of what they evoke.

Irina Trocan

From 25 August 2017 in cinemas.