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   from the issue of September 6, 2007

Romanian double feature, Vietnamese family tale open Sept. 7 at the Ross

A multi-media Romanian double feature and a harrowing tale of a Vietnamese family following the fall of Saigon are opening Sept. 7 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

Showing through Sept. 13 are "Photography by AlexANDRU Moscu," "12:08 East of Bucharest," and "Journey from the Fall."

"Photography by AlexANDRU Moscu" is being presented as a short film prior to each showing of "12:08 East of Bucharest." The film is a collection of digital photos taken by photographer Alexandre Moscu, capturing moments of life in modern day Romania.

"12:08 East of Bucharest," winner of the Camera d'Or at Cannes, opens 16 years after the revolution that saw Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife flee the presidential palace by helicopter. A television talk-show host has hastily assembled a panel of nobodies to look back at the events of Dec. 22, 1989.

Their town, Vaslul, is depicted as a drab, rundown place where it is hard to imagine very much happening.

During the discussion, an alcoholic history teacher and a lonely retiree are forced to answer questions from fellow panel members who aren't convinced the revolution took place in the city.

Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film is reminicscent of 1960s Czech political comedies by Forman, Passer and Menzel.

"Journey from the Fall" tells the story of an anti-communist family's efforts to reunite and find freedom after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Imprisoned in a communist re-education camp in 1981, Long (the family patriarch) must endure brutal beatings and indescribable squalor at the hands of his abductors. Having made the choice several years before to remain in Vietnam and fight, he urged his wife, Mai; mother, Ba Noi; and young son, Lai; to attempt escape by boat. The three endure a torturous journey by sea, arriving and setting in Orange County, Calif. Unsure if she'll ever see her husband again, Mai begins a relationship with the captain who brought her to the United States.

Fueled by a furtively received packet of his son's drawings, Long attempts to escape and find his family.

For more information, including show times, go online to or call 472-5353.



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