How do we carry on living, afterwards, when we’ve grown up with a dictatorship, when we shaped our lives under this dictatorship, when it’s part of us.
Digging „where it hurts“ is what I have done in Rumania for my previous films (family secret under communism dictatorship + immigration after the fall), it’s also what I’m doing for my future films : in France (incest), in Germany (along its innerland scar on the former border in between west and east Germany) and it’s what I want to do in my next Rumanian film (with young people from the LGBTQi+ community).
STELLA (“Prix du Patrimoine” at the Cinéma du Réel – 2007) was Vanina Vignal’s first film as a director NOVEMBREproductions – http://www.stellalefilm.com
Cinéma du réel 2007 : Stella, her husband and sister live in a shantytown installed under the motorway in Plaine Saint-Denis just north of Paris. Stella begs in the metro, and the hospital where she goes for treatment is her only contact with society. One of the invisible, illegal immigrants of our cities, she was a factory worker during the Ceausescu regime. She has devoted her life to saving the man she loves. She fights on silently.
AFTER THE SILENCE (Cinéma du Réel 2012, Vision du réel 2012) deals with how the effects of dictatorship are still extremely vivid, even after the fall of dictatorship. It is a film about the abuses of the state, about fear, about how silence is passed on from one generation to the next. A film about the space which, despite all that is known, is left to ghosts that make it impossible to live fully in the present. Three generations walled in silence. The legacy of denial, as nothing has been put back in its place and nothing has been said. Killing the dictator is not enough to kill the dictatorship.
Ada Solomon (producer of the Romanian film “Child’s Pose” winner of Berlinale’s Golden Bear in 2013, and of the film « Aferim » by Radu Jude, Golden Bear of the best director 2015), asked to be in charge of the Q&A at AFTER THE SILENCE’s Bucharest première in march 2013: “This film should be shown in schools because it could be another way of helping us to analyse our past and break free of the grip it still has on society today. »
Due to Ada Solomon and NexT Cultural Society which is coordinating these kind of actions, the film began to be shown in Colleges since 2014 – in a educational program inspired by the french program Lycéens au cinéma.
(for television) – 26mn’- collection Visages d’Europe – 2008 – ARTE – Production : Les Films d’ici – Ventes Internationales : Arte Distribution – http://www.lesfilmsdici.fr/fr/catalogue/902-tous-europeens-dimi.html
Films in development/in production
Borderland – Documentary feature lenght film
A quarter of a century after reunification, the line in between the formerly divided eastern and western parts of Germany is still visible. Our filming covered our 1400 kilometers walk along this former border, in the middle of a country which has been divided into two cultures: the concept of separation is not abstract anymore when it comes down to encountering the people who lived near the border yesterday, who live there today and who will live there tomorrow.
Our walking gave us the opportunity to survey the death strip of a former invincible border – that nobody would have ever imagined to see falling -, and explore a place where it was once accepted that people could die, like on other borders where people are still dying today. Many of the refugees who make it and arrive in Germany in large numbers, ironically, are sent to live in the former GDR army casernes in the no man’s land, where once it was impossible to go.
What does separation for political reasons mean for people who are facing it very concretely? How is it beeing obliged to leave a place for political reasons, and consequently to cross a border to get safe? What does it mean; border? These are our questions, this is our quest.
First phase of the project (the 5 months walk) shot. It is a long run project as there is now a second phase of the project. Wait and see… in a few years !
Awakenings – Documentary feature lenght film
Vanina has started to meet lots of young LGBTQi+ Romanians who did not experience Communism directly (but who inherited much more than they think), young people who are thinking in terms of activism in a society that is slowly awakening.
Secrets – Documentary feature lenght film
Incest and pedophilia.
Immersion/research/writing/filming since 2012 (and for a long time – long run project)
Vanina Vignal is also writing her first fiction project around domestic dictatorships and incest :
The ordinary torture inflicted by a domestic perverse dictator, during a family dinner.