An Absurdist Homage To Battleship Potemkin

J. Hoberman at Artforum:

A ROMANIAN FILMMAKER who regularly deflates Romanian myths of national greatness, Radu Jude recently graced the New York Film Festival with a compact, farcical essay on the material basis of historical memory, or, to use Trotsky’s term, “the dustbin of history.”

The Potemkinists takes the form of a conversation between a would-be public artist and a prospective state patron. Those familiar with Jude’s tricksy, appalling account of a staged historical pageant, I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians (2018), will recall considerable screen time devoted to a similar debate. Indeed, Alexandru Dabija, the affably sly ministry official in I Do Not Care, appears here in the guise of a garrulous sculptor selling a proposal to rehabilitate a glorious moment from Romania’s past. His possible benefactor is a generally unimpressed cultural bureaucrat (Cristina Drăghici, who delivered an inspired rant as a shopper in Jude’s 2021 Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn).

more here.