There are two places where I am the happiest in the world: on the top of the mountain and in the vast countryside of my childhood. It’s not just the proximity of nature that I need in order to feel at peace, but to be right in the middle of it. I need nature for my own health, sanity and happiness. I know that the fact that I grew up in a country that is extremely gifted geographically speaking, and that I had the chance to experience it from very early on – having complete freedom as a child, spending much of my childhood outside, in walking distance from the woods, or roaming and climbing the mountains with my parents and brother every chance we got – played an incredibly important part in my love for nature and in appreciating our natural surroundings. It was always right there, I always had the space to exercise this love. But I never took it for granted, not even as a child. I knew we had the responsibility to protect nature and to preserve it. The uniqueness of Romania is in its natural, raw, untamed beauty that still exists, the kind that is extinct in many Western European countries.
The documentary Romania neîmblânzitã (Untamed Romania), directed to Tom Barton-Humphreys and co-written by Alex Pãun and Tom Barton-Humphreys, is a beautiful homage to our country. I imagine that for many people who have never visited Romania (and one can not say they have visited Romania unless they went into its rich wilderness) it will be a revelation. And, given the fact that it’s so fascinatingly narrated by one of our greatest actors, Victor Rebengiuc (I advise you to first watch the trailer below in Romanian even if you don’t speak the language and then watch the English version), it will also be a source of wonder and dreaming, as if unfolded from a fairy tale.
I do appreciate the positive view on Romania shown in the film, just as much as I appreciate the signal of alarm at the end – a call to acknowledging the environmental threats our country, as the rest of the world, has been facing, and to taking the necessary steps against them. Believe me, I am one of the most fervent critics of everything that’s wrong in this country, including the disasters man has brought to nature. But, I believe that this beautiful projection of Romania can inspire positive reaction more than harsh reportages have or will. I sincerely hope that as many people as possible, from all over the world, will get to watch this film. But what I truly want is for every Romanian to see it so that they are reminded of the magic and fragile beauty of their own country and of their responsibility to protect it with all their might. In this digital age, our children need to be close to nature more than we ever have. I don’t want it to be my son’s fairy tale, I want it to be his reality.
photo credit: Transilvania Film