Slavomir Popovici (1930-1983)

• Born in 1930, in Virset, Serbia.
• In 1949, at 17, he crossed the border to Romania.
• Between 1951- 1956 he was a student at the Bucharest Directing Faculty.
• He started working at the Sahia documentary film studio right after graduation.
• His first film was an unconventional one about pioneers. He invented “The Well-sewn Buttons’ Day“, for which the pioneers sang a hymn.
• He wrote a manifesto for the documentary film with his colleagues Erich Nussbaum and Catrinel Oproiu in which he requests real films made with modern means.
• Each one of his movies was censored. They do not represent him completely.
• “The plant“ (1963, camera-Costea Ionescu) was viewed many times until Răutu, the chief of ideology in the 60’s, when Slavomir refused to undergo the changes Răutu recommended, wanted to make him pay the costs of the movie. Finally, a modified version was presented to the workers at the “1 Mai“ plant in Ploieşti, about which the film was. They were supposed to say that the movie was not worth being shown to the public, but the communist party secretary in charge with propaganda in the county (Sîrbu) said that he liked the film and so it passed.
• “Harsh Romances“ (1965) received its approval in a year. They also wanted to charge Slavomir with the costs of the movie. Finally, he saved it by introducing a commentary by the poet Ştefan Augustin Doinaş. Even though modified, the Oberhausen Festival selected only this one out of all the Romanian
documentaries. Slavomir made an improved version especially for the festival.
• After the two adventures with movies from reality, Slavomir decided to direct only etnographical and art movies. His problems continued with “Good as Day“ (1974), for which he was accused of treating the subject in a realistic way, and not in the “Cîntarea României” style.
• In the “Black Sun“ (1968, camera - Doru Segal) the initial text was only the “Requiem“. Mr. Brad, the chief of cinematography in those times did not agree. Because of that, the text had to be written once again. Slavomir wrote it with Gabriela Ionescu (screenwriter) and Corina Nicolescu (consultant). He was awarded with the prize for the best documentary in the Ciudad the Panama Film Festival in 1969.
• The ethnographical cycle “Signs“ (1970, 1971) was made for the Romanian Television when Cornel Todea was director there. One of the problems was that in the commentary written together with Gabriela Ionescu the word “death” appeared. It had to be replaced by “old-age”.
• In 1982 his “Anthology of Old Serbian Poetry“ appeared. It was written in collaboration with poet Marin Sorescu.
• In the ‘60s Slavomir went back to Yugoslavia several times, while his father was alive. In 1965, he wanted to move back there, but he remained in Romania.
• His last film “Wedding on Valea Caraşovei“ (1983) about the Serbian communities in Banat remained unfinished (it was edited later).