Influential theatre and film director known as the godfather of the Romanian new wave

Until 2005, when the Romanian new wave was launched with Cristi Puiu’s The Death of Mr Lazarescu, Romanian cinema was little known internationally. However, Puiu, Cristian Mungiu, Corneliu Porumboiu and Cătălin Mitulescu, winners of stacks of prestigious awards, all acknowledged the influence of Lucian Pintilie, who has died aged 84.

Unlike Pintilie, these younger directors were able to make films free from the censorship that existed under Nicolae Ceauşescu, the communist despot who had controlled the arts with an iron fist. It was only when Ceauşescu was executed in 1989 that Pintilie was able to make films again in his homeland after many years of self-imposed exile, mostly in France, where he gained a reputation as a theatre director.

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