Archive of films Forest of the Hanged / Pădurea spânzuraţilor

1964, 158 min

Section: Out of the Past
Year: 2013

In his brilliant, multilayered antiwar drama Forest of the Hanged, renowned Romanian director Liviu Ciulei captures the First World War through the eyes of Apostol Bologa, an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army. For a film that seems as fresh today as it did almost 50 years ago when it was made, the creator took Best Director at the 1965 Cannes festival.


The year is 1916. Apostol Bologa (the outstanding Victor Rebengiuc), a Romanian officer in the Austro-Hungarian army, attends the execution of a deserter. Although he is convinced of the man’s guilt, the event leads him to begin to question the war of which he is now a part. His sense of military duty must contend with his deeply ingrained sense of humanity.... This brilliant, multilayered antiwar drama about a man’s transformation as a consequence of war received the Best Director Award at the 1965 festival in Cannes. The film, which has lost none of its currency or urgency almost 50 years later, was based on the eponymous work by the founder of the modern Romanian novel, Liviu Rebreanu. Director Liviu Ciulei described the film’s final scene as the most beautiful of his entire film career: "…man, woman, bread, salt and wine, love, life and death.”

About the director

Liviu Ciulei (1923, Bucharest – 2011, Munich) studied drama and stage architecture at the Royal Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, after which he worked exclusively in theatre as a stage designer, costumer designer, director and actor. He also began to appear as an actor in films. Ciulei co-wrote the screenplay for Fulfilled Dream (Mitrea Cocor), awarded at KVIFF in 1952. Ciulei began directing independently in the late 1950s. His other feature films include Eruption (Erupţia, 1957), The Waves of the Danube (Valurile Dunării, 1959) and television adaptations of the plays Macbeth (Macbett, 1973) and A Lost Letter (O scrisoare pierdută, 1977). He left Romania in the early 1980s, and worked in the USA, Canada and Australia. He returned after the 1989 revolution, and continued his work in theater.


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

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Out of the Past
Director: Liviu Ciulei
Screenplay: Titus Popovici podle románu / based on the novel by Liviu Rebreanu
Dir. of Photography: Ovidiu Gologan
Music: Theodor Grigoriu
Editor: Dan Naum, Yolanda Mîntulescu
Production: Studioul cinematografic Bucureşti
Cast: Liviu Ciulei, Victor Rebengiuc, Ştefan Ciubotăraşu, Ana Széleş
Contact: Romanian Film Center

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