Alexander Nanau’s documentary film ‘Colectiv’ is Romania’s proposal for the 2021 Oscar Awards, in the ‘best international feature film’ section.
A film about the system versus the people, about truth versus manipulation, about personal interest versus public interest, about individual courage and responsibility: this is how one would describe the feature film ‘Colectiv’, which shows what happened in the first year after the fire at the Colectiv club in Bucharest. Colectiv is not a fiction film or one inspired from real life, it is the stark reality! On October 30, 2015, in the evening, the rock band ‘Goodbye to Gravity’ went on stage for a concert at the Colectiv club in Bucharest, which had been improvised in an abandoned factory. The concert was attended by hundreds of young people.
Shortly after the concert began, the fireworks display included in the show set on fire the sponge that cushioned the improvised concert hall, which had only one exit. The fire lasted 153 seconds, enough to cause the death of some of the spectators, the choking on smoke of others and a stampede for the exit. The country’s PM at the moment resigned, just as the mayor of the Bucharest sector where the club was located. Meanwhile, some of the injured people were transported abroad for medical care, others, who remained in the country, died because of their severe burns and the nosocomial infections.
People took to the streets to protest against corruption chanting the famous slogan ‘Corruption kills’. The authorities opened a criminal file, some people were arrested, the trial was protracted, but eventually the culprits were found, punishments were ruled and damages were granted to the victims and their families. One of the biggest tragedies, in times of peace, in the Romanian history, the Colectiv fire has killed 64 people, mostly young people, and has wounded about 200 people, of whom one subsequently committed suicide.
Directed by Alexander Nanau, the documentary, born out of the 2015 Colectiv fire tragedy, is Romania’s proposal for the 2021 Oscar Awards, in the ‘best international feature film’ section. This is the first time when Romania proposes a documentary film for the Oscar Awards, shows the film’s Facebook page. Moreover, the American distributors will also register ‘Colectiv’ in the ‘best documentary film’ section to increase its chances to be included on the short list of nominees. Director Alexander Nanau says that ‘we are in a genuine golden age of documentary films, and the fact that these films are starting to be so widely acknowledged is really encouraging’. Alexander Nanau is convinced that the story ‘Colectiv’ will reach very many people. (tr. L. Simion)