Preparing For the Worst

Adalbert’s Dream

Gopo Award – Best First Feature Film
Best Project Award ‐ Baltic Event co‐production market, Tallinn IFF, 2009

Connecting Cottbus, Cottbus IFF, 2008
Ateliers d’Angers, 2009
Crossroads, Thessaloniki IFF, 2009
Works in progress, Karlovy Vary IFF, 2010
Works in progress, Thessaloniki IFF, 2010


“Adalbert’s Dream mines the Romanian communist past for a drily funny tale of
ordinary people just getting on with their lives. It’s not just any day at the factory for
our shady but somehow admirable hero Iulica (Gabriel Spahiu), Health and Safety
Chief, but the morning after the glorious victory of underdogs Steaua Bucharest in
the European Champions Cup over the mighty Barcelona – the only Romanian team
ever to win it. Everyone, or at least the men, really wants to be celebrating this, but
in fact it’s Romanian Communist Party Day which is taking centre stage in the works
canteen. Various lacklustre official events are on the cards, including a hilarious
rendition of ‘The Power of Love’ by a stolid under‐rehearsed factory choir, and a
couple of official films Iulica’s made, one a warning about the perils of disrespecting
Health and Safety, the other the eponymous Adalbert’s Dream, a clunky surreal
effort, so named by Iulica ‘because it sounds like a foreign film’. Always on the dodgy
edge of things, ever cheerful, Iulica the family man is also managing a rather
unenthusiastic one‐eyed mistress (star of his H&S film) and getting the factory to run
him off a few little items for personal use, as well as possessing a possibly illicit video
recorder, which he’s brought along to work to show the tape he’s made of the
football to his boss when the festivities allow. But the darkness really descends and
the revels are ended when there’s a real accident in the factory, and a ‘reenactment’
film has to be made about it to seek out where the blame lies and warn
others. Just one week earlier the biggy in Health and Safety disasters happened, at
Sheila Seacroft
Neil Young’s Film Lounge

“The pair of the co‐writers have crafted a clever, economic little fable, darkly comic
but with a serious undercurrent, one based firmly around their vividly‐sketched
characters. It pays close attention to their dialogue, gestures, interactions and
milieux, with the factory background evoked in particularly effective, pungently
grimy detail.
The DOP was tasked with realizing Director’s concept of shooting the picture using
old‐school VHS technology – all the better to capture the dingy tones of late‐80s
Romania. This involved tracking down a 20‐year‐old JVC and adapting it, after
various trial‐and‐error mishaps, with special Zeiss lenses. The results prove well
worth the hassle, providing a highly distinctive texture and making the very most of
the limited budget.”
Neil Young
‘The Hollywood Reporter”

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