Romanian MEP Criticizes "California Dreamin" To Represent Romania In EU Film Festival

Social democrat MEP Ioan Mircea Pascu urged the European Parliament Monday evening to reconsider the choice of "California Dreamin’" by Cristian Nemescu to represent Romania in the film festival organized within the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.


Imaginea articolului Romanian MEP Criticizes "California Dreamin" To Represent Romania In EU Film Festival

Romanian MEP Criticizes "California Dreamin" To Represent Romania In EU Film Festival

In a press release of the Romanian social democrat delegation to the European Parliament, Pascu said the film was chosen by European officials instead of Romania, and argued that the film "does not represent values of intercultural dialogue in its theme".
"From what I have understood, Romania’s in first proposal was rejected because the theme was unrelated. However, the film replacing it - «California Dreamin'» – is even more unrelated in theme," Pascu said in the plenary session of the European Parliament.
Contacted by MEDIAFAX, the Romanian MEP said that although he has nothing personal against Nemescu’s film, its theme is not related to intercultural dialog.
"If the other proposal had an unrelated theme, this one is even more unrelated,” Pascu said, adding he was bothered by the fact that the film “was imposed” by the European Parliament and “shoved down romania’s throat”. Moreover, Pascu said the film is not appropriate in the context of tension in Kosovo and screening it would affect Romania’s ties with the United States.
According to Pascu, "while the rest of the films portray intercultural dialog on a personal, human level, «California Dreamin'» portrays a fictional case of an American transport via Romania, halted by Romanian authorities, and ends with… civil war!?".
The MEP added the film of the late Nemescu is sprinkled with "obscene language and explicit sex and violence, a singular case within the festival".
"I don’t think these are «virtues» of intercultural dialog...!?" Pascu said in the press release.
Pascu is contradicted not only by those who chose the film – the European Union of National Institutions for Culture (EUNIC) – but also by the impressive number of awards and recognitions the film obtained.
On the other hand, the film does not portray a fictional case, as Pascu said, but is based on fact.
"If it hadn’t been for Florin Patrachioiu, head of the railway station in Pielesti, «California Dreamin'» would have never been made, Armand Assante would have never come to Romania, and the history of Romanian cinema would have been an award short. But fate has it that Patrachioiu existed and halted a NATO trained packed with American troops and arms. At that time, in the summer of 1999, the incident made a splash in the country and worldwide, and then turned into a Cannes awarded film," Gandul daily wrote in October 2007.
However, Pascu says he has no personal recollection of such an incident, even though he was minister of defense at that time.

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