Big World Pictures has picked up Romanian auteur Radu Jude’s “Uppercase Print,” which premiered last year in the Berlinale’s Forum section. The sale was handled by Brussels-based Best Friend Forever. The director’s “Bad Luck Banging” won the 2021 Golden Bear at the Berlinale.
An adaptation of a 2013 play, “Tipografic majuscul” by Romanian playwright Gianina Carbunariu, the film tells the true story of high school student Mugur Călinescu who was arrested in the early 1980s by Romania’s secret police agency for graffiti criticizing the regime of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Jude intercuts contemporaneous footage of advertisements, music videos and propaganda films asserting both the basic wholesomeness and banality of the culture with excerpts from the play showing the repressive mechanisms of the state at work. The effect is both disorienting and devastating.
The film marks the fourth collaboration between Jude and Big World, following “Aferim!” (2015), “Scarred Hearts” (2017) and “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” (2019).
“Uppercase Print” will play festivals in the months ahead, and will open theatrically in early 2022.
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said: “It is a fierce and impassioned denunciation of evil, part of a continuing wave of Romanian filmmaking dealing with the Ceaușescu and post-Ceaușescu eras.”