March 2015

"Pădurea e ca muntele, vezi?" ("The Forest is Like the Mountains")

by Christiane Schmidt and Didier Guillain, opens May 7, 2015

On a hill on the edge of a Romanian district capital there lies a village, although you’d never guess that it’s so close to a town. The streets are unpaved, a horse and cart is used to get around and the fields are tilled with a scythe. The Roma here live in tune with nature and harvest whatever the land currently offer. One thing they always need is wood for heating. Yet surviving in the present day has become increasingly difficult. Apart from the annual potato harvest, there is scarcely any paid work for unskilled labourers any more, not even in the wider region. Future prospects are equally bleak according to village head Aron, for without money one has no voice in politics. Strong group ties, mutual respect and unwavering faith do at least provide some compensation. The steady hands of Christiane Schmidt and Didier Guillain succeed in capturing the lives of this oft-scorned and vilified people with extraordinary depth and complexity. It is as if one is on hand to experience the changing seasons with them, pulled into the flow of this family community. (Claudius Lünstedt, Forum Catalogue)

For more information and a trailer please visit the film's website www.padurea-film.com

Christiane Schmidt studied political science and art history, at Oldenburg University. In 2013, she completed her studies in documentary film and television journalism, with a concentration in cinematography, at the University of Television and Film in Munich. She lives in Berlin. PĂDUREA E CA MUNTELE, VEZI? is her graduation film.

Didier Guillain studied physics before studying film, with a concentration in cinematography, at INSAS in Brussels. Guillian works mainly as a cinematographer on documentary films and is a member of the filmmaking collective Les Renards.

PĂDUREA E CA MUNTELE, VEZI? (THE FOREST IS LIKE THE MOUNTAINS)

Romania, Germany 2014. Format: DCP, Blu-Ray. Running time: 101 min. Language: Romanian. Language Version: OV with German subtitles. Director: Christiane Schmidt, Didier Guillain. Director of photography: Christiane Schmidt. Sound: Didier Guillain. Editor: Lena Hatebur. Producer: Ferdinand Freising. With: Elena Lingurar, Aron Lingurar, Aronela Coşcodar, Anamaria Lingurar, Aronaş Lingurar, Camelia Lingurar, Simon Boroş, Beniamin Boroş, Iosif Boroş, Lavinia Coşcodar. Production company: Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (Germany). World premiere: 12 February 2014, Berlinale Forum.