Sahia Vintage Screenings: Postcards from the SSR

Between the 5th and 9th of November, students from several high schools in Bucharest were able to observe how people spend their day-to-day lives and holidays during the communist era - with seas, rivers, sunshine, mountains, and roads passing through a country undergoing a deep and complicated process of urbanization and development.

The Sahia Vintage: Postcards from the SSR series discusses how all these changes were reflected in the lives of ordinary people, and still continue to, almost three decades after the Revolution – touching upon subject such as living in a city that has more and more cars, how the tourism practice developed in Romania and what is its current state, and many more interesting topics.

The screenings took place in several National Colleges (Matei Basarab, Nicolae Tonitza, Sfantu Sava and Ion Creanga), but also at the Dante Alighieri Theoretical High School and the Virgil Madgearu Economic College, with a series of short films produced between 1960 and 1980. Our special guest for the Q&As was our colleague Adina Brădeanu, the researcher who is coordinating the Sahia Vintage DVD series, which is produced by One World Romania Association.

Over the years and semesters, One World Romania at School has extensively used the series of films produced by the communist-era Alexandru Sahia documentary film studio, as a means to open up discussions with high school students about how daily life during the Socialist Republic of Romania manifested itself. It’s also a process through which we wanted to involve ourselves in the recovery and the revaluation of the cinematographic cultural heritage produced in that specific historical period.

Started in 2014, the Sahia Vintage DVD Series features both classical Romanian documentaries and a number of not-so-well-known productions of the studio – films which are capable of opening a new perspective on documentary practice in Communist Romania, as well as on the realities which citizens were coping with living beyond the iron curtain.