Big World Pictures will release Radu Jude’s “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” Romania’s official selection for the 2019 Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film). “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” named Best Feature at the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film festival and an official selection at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, will open at IFC Center in New York on July 19 and at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles on July 26. Other cities will follow.
“I do not care if we go down in history as barbarians” – these were the words spoken by Romania’s military dictator Marshal Ion Antonescu in the Council of Ministers in the summer of 1941 that started the ethnic cleansing on the Eastern Front. Radu Jude’s resonant feature, “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, chronicles a young theatre director’s efforts to stage an accurate re-enactment of the Odessa Massacre – in which Romanian soldiers slaughtered tens of thousands of Ukrainian Jews – despite the municipal government’s attempt to censor the director’s efforts. Her choice angers a city official who threatens to close the production because of its “anti-Romanian” take on history. However, the reaction to the staged play is one that neither anticipated. This internationally-acclaimed dark satire is a timely statement about the consequences of selective and willful amnesia on a society fueled by populist sentiments.
Radu Jude’s sixth feature comes on the heels of a pair of critical favorites -AFERIM!, featured on the New York Times critic A.O. Scott’s “Best of 2016” list; and Scarred Hearts, which made The New Yorker critic Richard Brody’s “Best of 2018” list. Jude, whose earlier fiction feature films (The Happiest Girl in the World and Everybody in Our Family) received accolades at numerous festivals in Europe and the US, is also known for a string of prize-winning short films, including The Tube with a Hat (2006), which took the top prize at Sundance and 15 other awards at festivals around the world.