Review - The Dead Nation

Review by Michael Goss

The Dead Nation   Dir: Radu Jude | Romania 2017


The Dead Nation is Director Radu Jude’s haunting account of a troubled period of Romanian history brought back to life using an extensive photo archive. This found-footage film of life in provincial Romania in the lead up to WW2 makes a makes a superb, illuminating selection from this photographic treasure trove.


As a multi-dimensional snapshot of history, the film is a rich evocation of a community on the brink of war. The soundtrack features extracts from the diary of a Jewish doctor fully aware of the approaching catastrophe interwoven with period radio broadcasts and patriotic anthems.

The film is striking in its purity, with beautiful images placed in the context of barely conceivable horrors, crafting a powerful depiction of fractured times that speaks to the unease of our own age.