06.11.2010 alina musatoiu

Behind the walls of the Călugăreni psychiatric recovery centre there's a black-and-white world, almost monastic. Here, in the gray and empty courtyard, one of the patient's, resting on a board, is moving rocks from one pile to the other, every day. Another one, suited, is insistently sweeping the chapels' stairs, every morning, like a ritual. Seldom do you see people just strolling through the courtyard. They are the only colored spots in this fence-enclosed yard, cemented and abandoned like a modern world. It's always quiet, except for a strange and lonely laugh from time to time. It's a world reduced to the bare necessities, simplified to zen. Only apparently.  


Maybe we like to think we‘re special only because we can walk straight, eat all by ourselves, work in an office and honk everyday in our small world. But we shall see that, no matter how absurd the behavior of those committed to Călugăreni seem at first glance, they are nothing more than mantras, some equilibrium offering rituals, which we too, the "normal ones", follow every day, only in a different shape. It doesn't matter if we talk about moving rocks from one side to the other - in their case - or to the obsessive tv dusting - in our case.


As soon as you get used to this universe, the differences disappear, one by one, rather even lessons appear. Actually, the world of the patients and that of "normal society" are umbilical tied, and these invisible ties are the ones that actually keep together the living beings: care, light, love. Hence the title of the documentary "Don'get me wrong, but..." (director Adina Pintilie), a polite expression constantly used by one of the patients when he is expressing his profound disagreement with the opinion of the speaker.

We have  a lot to learn from Abel. He has oligophrenia and is committed for 20 years, but his state is good enough for him to help other patients: he washes them, feeds them, changes their clothes with constant devotion. When it rains he quietly looks out the window and, sometimes, smiles to some invisible person. Honest, in his world, like some kind of saint.


Ocsy and Alexander walk daily through the courtyard and have long talks. Both are schizophrenic and are sure that they have special powers. They think they can stop the rain, only through different methods: Ocsy speaks to God; he knows he is only "a blade of grass in this world" and that man, without faith and divine help, cannot do anything. On the other hand, Alexander describes himself as "a scientist". He eats, honey, cocoa and nuts, which give him the energy to modify Alpha, Beta and Omega rays, to cast out the clouds and stop the rain by himself. He is a "superhuman" that relies on reason and that doesn't waist time with indemonstrable details: "I believe the soul dies."


The neverending contradictory talks of the two do not lead to anything, except for breaking them up at the end. Sounds familiar? Maybe without knowing, Ocsy and Alexander are part of  a centuries old conflict (religion versus science). Ironic or not, we too are struggling with it, in our so called more evolved world compared to the tight courtyard of Călugăreni. We are made of the same dough, we have the same fears and questions. The differences are the peace, innocence and, most of all, the love that people like Ocsi or Abel transmit to others. They might be crazy, but they are no screw-balls. Here, free will is not based on reason, but on that human instinct, on those invisible connections that I mentioned before. So the quote from St. Augustine, from the beginning of the movie "Love and do what you will", cannot be but a good message. At Călugăreni, "Do what you will" becomes "Do what you will, but in a good way, for the one next to you", which might not be a bad thing to remember for the enlightened minds of the elecrified cities.

The movie can be viewed here after the simplest registration (email and password).
alina musatoiugraduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Communication Sciences (University of Bucharest). She has worked as a translator, copywriter and editor for various television stations (Money Channel, ProCinema), magazines (Zile şi Nopţi) and websites (HotNews.ro)
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ion metodie

07.11.2010 la 16:31

Daa, placut filmul, si bine dozat! Nu te lasa sa te ingrozesti prea tare de ce vezi, te poarta prin diverse zone, de la crunt la meditativ, de la incordat la relaxat. Transpare o idee comuna cu Forest Gump: pe fondul unor nebunii patologice cumva, sunt fixate bine de tot niste principii si niste crezuri sanatoase. Te intrebi de unde isi au radacinile...:)

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Alina Musatoiu

07.11.2010 la 16:46

- reply to ion metodie -

Ai dreptate, la inceput am crezut ca o sa fie un film cu aceeasi atmosfera ca a imaginilor cu orfelinatele de dupa Revolutie. Surpriza a fost mare. Si binefacatoare :)

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Bogdan Vornicu

30.11.2010 la 19:39

Unde se pot vedea documentarele? Par interesante. Si prezentarea lor mi-a placut.

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Alina Musatoiu

06.12.2010 la 00:10

"Nu te supara, dar" se poate vedea urmand linkul de la sfarsitul cronicii (pe www.mubi.com). Vizionarea e gratuita, aveti doar nevoie sa va faceti un cont (adica introducerea unei adrese de mail si a unei parole, care dureaza cateva secunde).

"Tears of Gaza" a avut premiera abia acum cateva luni (doua sau trei), s-ar putea sa mai dureze putin pana apare la downloadat sau vizionat online.

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