New York Essential Workers Read from Romania's Iconic Poet
This year, on Romania’s National Culture Day, coinciding by design with the birthday of our greatest poet, Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889), we think not only about creativity but also about courage; about determination as much as about imagination. We place the celebration of culture during the pandemic at the unique intersection of poetry and indispensable work, both essential in a time of pressing challenges.
In a short film entitled ESSENTIALS. EMINESCU. ESSENTIAL, which we made especially for this important date in the Romanian cultural calendar, we have invited a few of New York’s essential workers – a nurse, a policeman, a cook, a shop assistant, a janitor, a bus driver, a construction technician and a farmer – to read some of Mihai Eminescu’s most famous verses, taking time off from their continuous effort that remains absolutely necessary for the survival of the city. The readings put the contemporary relevance of Mihai Eminescu’s poems to the test, proving that his verses speak as much about a distant world and a time long past as about our own existence, here and now.
ESSENTIALS. EMINESCU. ESSENTIAL
Written and directed by Alex Boda
Filmed and edited by Johnny Vacar
Original music by Johnny Vacar
Poems translation and selection by Adrian G. Sahlean
Additional poems selection by Roxana Sahlean
Associate producer: Maria Branea
RCI New York coordinator in charge of the project: Luisa Tuntuc
Transportation and logistics: Gabriel Cimpoiașu
A production of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York, January 2021
“Real. Beautiful” ● “Very touching” ● “Excellent idea” ● “Absolutely wonderful” ● “Outside-the-box” ● “Gorgeous” ● “Innovative and culturally integrative initiative” ●
“I burst into tears” ● “Superb”
With special thanks to Dr. Theo Trandafirescu, Captain Wanda Coleman and the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, Adrian Ursalas and A1 General Construction, Geoff Thompson and Thompson's Cider Mill and Orchard
...and the wonderful essential workers who made this film possible!