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Radu Jude's Is This What You Were Born For?

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2018: #73. Radu Jude’s Is This What You Were Born For?

Is This What You Were Born For?

Romanian auteur Radu Jude arrived after the established first wave of New Romanian Cinema masters, rising up out the Berlin International Film Festival’s Forum sidebar with his first two features (2009’s The Happiest Girl in the World and 2012’s Everybody in Our Familyread review). His third film, the ambitious period piece Aferim! Would be his international breakthrough. Winning Best Director out of the Berlinale competition, it would end up being Romania’s official submission for Best Foreign Language Film. Jude followed that up with 2016’s Scarred Hearts and a 2017 documentary The Dead Nation (both which premiered out of Locarno, the former winning the Special Jury Prize out of the competition). During these two projects, Jude was collecting funds for Is This What You Were Born For?, a Romanian/French/Czech/Bulgarian co-pro which details the execution of 20,000 Jewish people at the hands of the Romanian army in Odessa, 1941 (which, along with Aferim! marks Jude as the only contemporary director to directly address sore subjects long left undiscussed from his country’s troubled history). The cast consists of Ioana Iacob, Alex Bogdan and theatre director Alexandru Dabija, who starred in Jude’s Aferim! and his short “Shadow of a Cloud.”

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Release Date/Prediction: Filming was scheduled to take place over Summer through the Fall of 2017, with plans for the film to be ready by mid-2018. This means Jude isn’t potentially planning on being ready for Cannes. While 2018 could be three times in three years for Jude, the ambitious project may allow the director to make his first entrance at Venice.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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