On March 14, Oana Serafim - Director of RFE/RL’s Moldova Service
- spearheaded a panel debate following the premiere screening of the controversial Romanian film "Kapitalism: Our Improved Formula” at the One World Film Festival
, which took place in Prague from March 8-17.
In the film, director Alexandru Solomon
investigates the rise of Romania’s unique brand of capitalism. The film paints a picture of a business oligarchy plagued by allegations of corruption, money laundering, and close ties to the Securitate (communist Romania’s former secret service).
In her role as RFE/RL's Director of the Moldova Service, Oana Serafim has spent a lot of time listening to the voices of the past via RFE/RL archival reports in an effort to understand the roots of today's problems. A long-time film critic and specialist on the region, Oana described "Kapitalism" as altogether “brilliant, tough, real and profound to watch.”
Serafim explained to the audience that the film’s subjects – Romania’s corrupt, oligarchic elite - felt themselves to be “heroes of capitalism” and simply above the law. Such predicaments, she explained, are an inheritance of communism.
Director Solomon is not new to RFE/RL. In a previous film, “Cold Waves,” he explored the Radio's impact on Romanian society and the ruling elite during the last era of Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship. His new work focuses on that regime's anarchic aftermath.
Fittingly, the most succinct summation of the film's central theme came near its conclusion - and from one of its subjects. In the words of Dinu Patriciu, currently the richest tycoon in Romania:
"You won't be successful unless you steal."
- Dalma Szentpetery