7.7/10
157
2 user

Great Communist Bank Robbery (2004)

Marele jaf comunist (original title)
In 1959, in Romania, six former members of the nomenklatura and the secret police organize a hold up of the National Bank. After their arrest, the state forces them to play themselves in a ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Romanian police officer teams up with a small crew of old friends from the World War II Jewish Resistance to pull off a heist by convincing everyone at the scene of the crime that they are only filming a movie.

Director: Nae Caranfil
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong, Harry Lloyd
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An imaginary return of dictator Ceausescu after 20 years of capitalism in his country, Romania, where he finds a new society but also old habits in the country's businessmen.

Director: Alexandru Solomon
Stars: George Becali, George Copos, Dan Diaconescu
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Paul Hanganu loves two women. Adriana his wife and the mother of their daughter, the woman with whom he's shared the thrills of the past ten years, and Raluca the woman who has made him redefine himself. He has to leave one of them before Christmas.

Director: Radu Muntean
Stars: Mimi Branescu, Mirela Oprisor, Maria Popistasu
Philanthropy (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Ovidiu, a high-school teacher looking for an extra buck, finds an unexpected way to earn easy money.

Director: Nae Caranfil
Stars: Mircea Diaconu, Gheorghe Dinica, Mara Nicolescu
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A prosecutor, policemen and teacher bring the students Vuica and Nicu to a restaurant to re-enact their drunken brawl there, and have it filmed to show the effects of alcoholism.

Director: Lucian Pintilie
Stars: George Constantin, Emil Botta, George Mihaita
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After being the sole unfortunate witness of a domestic quarrel that ends up in a murder, Patrascu finds himself at odds with two very close neighbors: one is the bizarre murderer, the other one his very own conscience.

Director: Radu Muntean
Stars: Ionut Bora, Liviu Cheloiu, Calin Chirila
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 1911-12, the Romanian movie director Grigore Brezianu and the financial tycoon Leon Popescu made together the 2 hours long movie "Romania's Independence" - an as faithful as possible ... See full summary »

Director: Nae Caranfil
Stars: Marius Florea Vizante, Ovidiu Niculescu, Mirela Zeta
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1925 Romania, young Marie-Therese Von Debretsy refuses the flirtatious advances of her husband's commanding officer. As a result, the cosmopolitan family is reassigned to a brutally ... See full summary »

Director: Lucian Pintilie
Stars: Kristin Scott Thomas, Claudiu Bleont, Olga Tudorache
The Escape (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Andrei Gruzsniczki
Stars: Sorin Leoveanu, Ofelia Popii, Florin Piersic Jr.
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Filmmaker Irene Lusztig unearths a dark family secret in search of answers and reconciliation in her breakthrough feature documentary, "Reconstruction." In communist Romania 1959, Lusztig's... See full summary »

Director: Irene Lusztig
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Virgil Calotescu
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Gheorghe Alexandrescu ...
Himself
Gheorghe Blidaru ...
Himself
Gheorghe Bratescu ...
Himself
...
Voice Over (voice)
Serban Celea ...
Voice Over (voice)
Gheorghe Ciuplea ...
Himself
Gheorghe Enoiu ...
Himself
Alex Galis ...
Himself
Magdalena Gogan ...
Herself
Sandu Mihai Gruia ...
Voice Over (voice)
Anastasia Iorgulescu ...
Herself
Victor Jilavu ...
Himself
Ozana Oancea ...
Voice Over (voice)
Edgar Reichmann ...
Himself
Elena Serbanescu ...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

In 1959, in Romania, six former members of the nomenklatura and the secret police organize a hold up of the National Bank. After their arrest, the state forces them to play themselves in a film which reconstitutes the crime and the investigation. At the end of their trial, filmed live, they are sentenced to death and executed. A month later, the film Reconstitution was released and became a sensation throughout the country. Written by giolgaudaniel

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 May 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy kommunista bankrabl├ís  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| (archive footage)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Closer to the Moon (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
the documentary as a propaganda tool
5 December 2008 | by (Herzlya, Israel) – See all my reviews

If you do a search at IMDb about 'Reconstituirea' (The Re-enactment) you will get two hits. One of them is by Lucian Pintilie, one of the most interesting Romanian directors of theater and occasionally a gifted film director. His 1968 film intended to be the start of a new page in the Romanian cinema, at the time winds of change were blowing in Eastern Europe and democracy was being tried in Czechoslovakia. However the change did not happen, the Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia in August that year, and democracy and freedom had to wait for another two decades until they prevailed in Eastern Europe. Pintilie's film was taken out of the theaters, and the new wave of the Romanian cinema was to be created many decades later by young folks who were kids or not even born in 1968.

The other film is a documentary made in 1960 by Virgil Calotescu. Usual cinema goers in Romania never had a chance to view it, as it was screened only in closed theaters, as a propaganda exercise. Yet, Calotescu and cameraman Pantelie Tutuleasa were well known film personalities in Romania at that time. Both films are about re-enactment of crimes committed during the Communist regime.

'Marele Jaf Comunist' (The Great Communist Robbery) is a documentary about the making of the 1960 documentary which exceeds by large the limits of the genre. It tells the story of a group of Romanian of Jewish origin, former Communists, who robbed a money transport of the Bank of Romania gangster-style in 1959. The reasons of their crime is a mystery until today, it may have been the search of adventure combined with frustration because of the turn Communism was taking, or maybe political reason related to the desire to help the emigration to Israel. After a big investigation of the secret police their were caught, and force to re-enact the robbery, then put on trial and condemned to death. All five men were executed, the only woman in the gang was put on prison for life, she got out of jail a few years later and died later in Israel in the 70s. We do not learn too much about the true and complete motivations of these people from the movie.

There is a strong message in this documentary that comes out from the film in film composition and from the permanent juxtaposition of the propaganda text that the 1960 documentary was using with the realities of life under Communist rule. By doing this Alexandru Solomon intended to make a true documentary about a documentary of lies. Those who survived - investigators, judges, the cameraman, fellow detainees, neighbors, collateral victims of the original investigation - all tell their side of the story and it looks like the documentary makers did not push too hard on them, they let them provide their own pieces of the puzzle leaving to us the viewers the task of composing our own full image. What we get is the mirroring of a time when everything was put in the service of the system, when instruments of truth - the justice system or the film in the camera - had become part of the lies empire.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Great Communist Bank Robbery (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?