‘Two years after Stalin’s death, the relaxation of ideological grip, however timid and short, made possible the publication of a remarkable novel that would be hailed no only as one of the timeless masterpieces of Romanian modern letters, but also as one of the most poignant readings of Romania’s cultural identity DNA. The year was 1955 and the author, a tormented young writer who had been almost lost after the brutal imposition of communism, was Marin Preda. The book told the story of a peasant family – the Morometes – revolving around a towering, Socrate-like patriarch and desperately trying to survive the vagaries of history and its own moral dissolution.
A celebration of one of the most seminal, identity-defining works of modern Romanian literature and a tribute to the fascinating man behind it, “The Morometes 60: the jubilee of a masterpiece” is a programme that, six decades after this still consequential masterpiece took the world by storm, revisits the interplaying worlds of Marin Preda and his memorable characters through film, theatre, exhibition, and conversations. An expert ensemble of internationally-acclaimed directors, actors and academics like Stere Gulea, Marcel Iureș, George Mihăiță, Jack Klaff and Caius Dobrescu will reveal the local flavour as well as the universal appeal of the Morometes’ fable and will discern the still relevant messages of a society that, as ours today, must face the same question: where on earth are we heading to?
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A daring, unforgiving mirror of a society disrupted by violent change, teaming with memorable characters and tackling the most stringent themes of a traumatic time, Marin Preda’s literature has been a copious source of stories for the big screen.
The “Marin Preda Season” at the Romanian Cinemateque in London revisits some of the best adaptations of the great writer’s works culminating with an evening of superlative cinema with director Stere Gulea, the author of unsurpassed filmic adaptation of The Morometes, and the opening of the photographic exhibition, “Marin Preda: a life in pictures and books”, a revealing incursion into the creative process of both a literary masterpiece and a great film.’ (RCI)