Many of the restriction of living under a Communist regime are obvious, but others are less well known. The state controlled the media and access to anything from the West was strictly forbidden. Speak to anyone from that era and their memories of TV and film from their childhood is very different to those living in the rest of Europe. However, there were those determined to profit and share despite the oppression.
Chuck Norris Vs Communism is the story of video clubs which popped-up all over Romania during the 1980s. Teodor Zamfir was a black market racketeer who smuggled in and copied thousands of VHS videos of Western films through the Iron Curtain. Irina Nistor’s voice became famous across the country as she dubbed the films into Romanian,. Together, they provided an escape from the harsh realities of daily life.
Ilinca Calugareanu’s documentary brings to life the excitement and importance of these covert clubs to ordinary Romanians. Not only did they provide a unique glimpse into Western world, these societies provided an outlet for collective rebellion. Made using a mix of interviews and reconstructions, Chuck Norris Vs Communism is full of amusing anecdotes and heartfelt wonder from those whose lives were brightened-up by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Irina became somewhat of a celebrity and the testimonies of the main protagonists add another fascinating perspective to the tale.
Chuck Norris Vs Communism will be released in the UK in September.