Constantin and Elena

“If the world was made up of people like them, there would be no problems that we couldn't solve” (Walter Murch). Constantin and Elena have been in love for fifty-four years. They live a simple life in a picturesque village in the northeast of Romania. They fill their days with chores in and around the house, going to church, and receiving welcome visitors, not to mention a catnap every now and then. Everything that these two old lovebirds do, they do slowly: from helping each other get dressed and climb ladders to weaving beautiful tapestries. Often they sing old Romanian songs at the top of their voices, or Constantin's old fighting songs from his World War II army days. Constantin and Elena aren't afraid of death, and discuss it in a practical way. They're proud of what they're leaving behind and happy with their love. But they do think it's unfortunate that they have so little time left together. As Constantin puts it, “With one eye I cry, with the other, I laugh.” Director Andrei Dascalescu, the couple's grandson, filmed them over the course of a year, using long takes and a fixed camera. He notes, “The fixed camera is my way of observing. I let the viewer choose his place of interest, I don't zoom or pan. I let everything happen. I think this style also gives dignity to my characters.” Constantin and Elena won the First Appearance Award at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.

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