Reenactment (Reconstituirea)

reenactment-posterRomanian comedic drama from 1968
Starring: George Constantin, Emil Botta, George Mihaita
Director: Lucian Pintilie
Writers: Horia Patrascu, Lucian Pintilie
Bechdel-test: Fail


Two young offenders are taken to a small village where they had a fight a few days ago, and as a result did some damage to people and property. Representatives from the court goes with them, and they have to reenact what happened for a movie that will be shown as a deterrent against alcohol.


The good news is that I only fell asleep once. The story was just fine, but could easily have been told in twenty minutes without much loss. It would have been a good short story, I think.

I had the feeling me and some friends could have gone to a small village and hacked this out in a couple of days. (If the weather was on our side.)

I had not seen this movie before. The movie also wasn’t listed on the Bechdel test list that looks for presence of women in movies, but it clearly didn’t pass the test. (For more on the Bechdel test and women in movies, you can check out my post on how women were regulated into boredom in Hollywood.)

There is only one named woman in the movie and she runs around in a bikini the whole time and behaves like a child. There is also a dreadful scene where a young man forces a kiss upon the woman and she fights him. Initially. And then she enjoys it, when he finally manages to plant a proper kiss on her. It looked very much like the beginning of a rape. I hope I don’t have to explain how much this bothered me.

I honestly don’t know if this was a part of critiquing society or not. I will give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt and say that they are trying to show that this is all a woman is permitted to be under this regime.


The acting was quite good, and so was the images and sound, considering it was a black-and-white movie. For a low budget movie, there is nothing to complain about, except the heavy use of sirens in the movie, witch is a little annoying. Of course the images can not compete with a modern blockbuster that has millions upon millions in budget.

The surface story of the movie is simple and straight forward, but through this reenactment we see how a communist regime constructs propaganda, and how the individual’s needs versus society’s needs is given different priority than we are used to in the west. All the little protests and the strange hierarchy between the men involved in the reconstruction, makes this movie more than it’s story.

The movie illustrates well how abuse of power and disregard for the individual quickly takes root in places we often refers to as regimes and not just as countries. And it is impressive to think that this was made on the inside, in CeauČ™escu’s Romania.

The movie is supposed to be a comedy and a drama, but I didn’t really laugh at anything. There were many absurdities, such as the younger men with lower status being orderd to take a brake and chase after a flock of geese. It was just absurd though, not funny. Maybe something was lost in translation?

I still think this story could have been told in twenty minutes, also with these other elements. Even if I only fell asleep once, I was close a few other times.


I would really rather not see it again. I’ve seen it now and that is enough. I don’t think it was a waste of my time, but once was enough.


I would recommend this movie only to people who are curious about life inside Romania in the early 60’s. The story is based on real events, so it shouldn’t be to unrealistic.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Reenactment” (Reconstituirea) or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

Five movies down. 360 to go.

If you want to watch “Reenactment (Reconstituirea)”, the only place I have been able to find it is YouTube. They might have the movie other places too.

Tomorrow’s movie is “Lawrence of Arabia“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.