Romanian director Radu Jude has published a short video on his career and vision as an artist, filmed on his mobile phone during the coronavirus lockdown in Romania.
An international television crew had been due to travel to Romania and interview the filmmaker but, as the borders closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Jude made the video, entitled Self-Portrait, by himself instead.
Rather than answering questions on how he started his career, or what interests him in film, Jude combines rough mobile footage of Bucharest streets with political observations and more abstract reflections. The result is that, for a few minutes, we get a private tour of Bucharest with Jude, enriched by his historical and political insights.
“When I saw the questions [from the interviewers], I realised that I could not answer them. So, as I walked to a medical check-up, I filmed the street with my mobile phone, trying to see if what was around me could offer me some support for my answers at least obliquely, if not directly,” Jude told The Calvert Journal. “It’s not a pretentious film but I liked doing it.”
Jude rose to fame thanks to his 2015 Silver Bear winning film Aferim!, which sheds a light on Roma slavery in Romania. Other Jude films include Scarred Hearts (2016), which tells the story of a Jewish Romanian young writer during the rise of anti-semitism in the 1930s, and I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians (2018), which focuses on the Odesa massacre of 1941.