Archive of films The Pharaoh / Faraonul

2004, 82 min

Section: East of the West - Competition
Year: 2004

A young TV reporter would like to shoot a program about a former political prisoner nicknamed The Pharaoh, who spent forty years in Siberian exile. She manages to locate a former lover, his sister, and his onetime cellmate, but questions still remain...  


Costache Nicolau is a seedy old beggar who wanders around Bucharest. Once a day he eats at a charity shelter, and at night sleeps in a squalid apartment. He is a former political prisoner who spent 40 years in Siberia. A young TV reporter, interested in his story, would like to shoot a programme about him. How did he return home from exile? Why won’t he speak about his family? Why do they call him The Pharaoh? The reporter who seeks the answer to this question herself becomes part of a documentary testimony about contemporary Romania which is now passing through a process of social transformation. “It’s also a film about her, a fairly normal and ordinary girl, and about her first taste of discovery”, says director Sinisa Dragin, who received the Main Prize at the Oberhausen film festival for his first documentary as writer-director, entitled The Sorrow of Black Gold. “Will she learn something from it? Will she start looking at the world through different eyes? The small mysteries which she gradually unveils are only the surface of the great mystery of this world...”

About the director

Sinisa Dragin (b. 1960, Kula, Yugoslavia) studied economics in Subotica then went on to the film academy in Bucharest. Since 1992 he has worked as a cameraman for Reuters, shooting in addition his own documentaries (e.g. The Sorrow of Black Gold, The Rain, Sun is Shining over Tichilesti – awarded at many festival). He relied on his own screenplay to shoot his first television feature, Long Journey by Train (1998, Best Screenplay – Grand Prix – at Geneva, the Special Jury Prize at Dijon, and the Special Prize at the European Film Forum in Strasbourg). This success was followed up by Every Day God Kisses Us on the Mouth (In fiecare zi dumnezeu ne saruta pe gura, 2001); in 2002 the film was shown in the Horizons section at Karlovy Vary and won Best Director and the Special Jury Prize at the Cairo IFF, among many others. The Pharaoh is his latest feature (2004).


Romanian Film Center
4-6 Dem. I. Dobrescu Street, Sector 1, Bucharest
Tel: +40 213 100 672
Fax: +40 213 100 672

Mrakonia Film
Ciurea 14, Bl.Y1, Sc.F, Sector 2, Bucharest
Tel: +40 7 222 451 27
Fax: +40 21 256 9297

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: East of the West - Competition
Director: Sinisa Dragin
Screenplay: Sinisa Dragin
Dir. of Photography: Alexandru Solomon
Music: Grigore Leşe
Editor: Sinisa Dragin
Producer: Sinisa Dragin
Production: Mrakonia Film
Cast: Adriana Butoi, Olga Tudorache, Stefan Iordache
Contact: Romanian Film Center, Mrakonia Film


Sinisa Dragin



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