DER Documentary


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by Jana Sevikova
bw and color, 43 min, 1992

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
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Piemule is a film about an ethnic group of Czechs that settled over a hundred and fifty years ago in the hills not far from Timisoara, Romania. Craftsmen and farmers, the ancestors of today's residents came to the Romanian highlands around the year 1822 with their families. Director Jana Sevikova succeeds in capturing the way of life in Rovensko, a remote village where time is measured by the changing seasons and their respective religious ceremonies and rituals.

Employing a complex structure of composition, Piemule depicts the history and the moral code of this small enclave of Czech culture, which while isolated within foreign surroundings, has retained its language, culture and national identity. The film contains the testimonies of individual people and a few essential historical facts: a song depicting the biblical story of the original sin threads its way through the whole film, showing the religious character of these people. Living in relative material poverty, these ethnic Czechs are left to their own resources to weather the whims of Ceaucescu's regime.

In 1993, the filmmaker returns to the village ten years after she had completed filming. To her surprise, life in Rovensko had remained unchanged, even after the fall of Romania's dictatorship - time here had already stopped during the last century.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Margaret Mead Film Festival, 1992
Pacific Film Archives, 1992
Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History, 1993
Field Museum Chicago, 1993
London Film Festival, 1992
Cinema in Transition, NY, 1993
San Francisco International Film Festival, 1993

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