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SEEfest17 Special Screening: Chuck Norris Versus Communism

April 26 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm



Director: Ilinca Calugareanu

Producers: Mara Adina, Brett Ratner

Duration: 78 minutes

Genre: Documentary/Drama

Country: Romania

Q&A with the film’s main protagonist, Irina Margareta Nistor.


In 1980s Romania, thousands of VHS tapes with Hollywood action movies were smuggled into the country and became a cultural phenomenon that opened the window into a different world. Through archival footage, film clips and reenactment of actual events, the film documents the story of cinema as a catalyst of change and the female translator behind this film underground movement.

This screening is made possible with the support of ICR, Double 4 Studios and Viitorul Roman.



Ilinca Călugăreanu is a London-based Romanian documentary filmmaker and editor. She studied filmmaking at Manchester’s Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology. Her short films have been screened in festivals around the world. Călugăreanu’s credits include The Writing on the Wall (2006, Romania) and Endgames (2008, UK). She has a background in anthropology with a focus on communist and post-communist Romania, which gives her a unique perspective on the story of the VHS phenomenon.

Born in 1957 in Bucharest, Irina Margareta Nistor started translating in 1980 for the Romanian Film Library and the National Television, where she subtitled over 500 movies and produced film shows such as, Video-Ghid, Series of the Series, Screen, Film Puzzle, Cinema Lexicon, The Universe or the Cartoons and From Comics to Cartoons for TVR. She voiced-over on VCR over 5000 films from 1985 to 1996. It was this topic that eventually became the documentary, Chuck Norris versus Communism, by Ilinca Călugăreanu and was selected for Sundance in 2015.

She conceived a series of cine-documents called History Repeating Itself (1957, 1958 & 1959), which portray the great Romanian actor Toma Caragiu and the film critic D.I. Suchianu. It also includes a film study about the ‘Impact of the series Dallas in the Romanian population.’ She interviewed famous filmmakers and ambassadors as well as hosted live many televised events (César Nights, Cannes, The Golden Palm of Cristian Mungiu, the Oscars, BAFTA, EMMY, etc.). She covered Karlovy-Vary, Reims, Stockholm, Montreux Festival as well as Cannes, Berlin, Namur, Tokyo, San Sebastian, Kishinev, Montreal, London, Roma, Venice film festivals for Radio, TV and written press in Romania.

She is the curator for Romanian Film Week in Bordeaux and for the last nine editions of Romanian Film Weeks in Canada. Since 2012, she has been the Director of the International Psychoanalysis Film Festival in Bucharest, imported from London.


April 26
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Laemmle Music Hall
9036 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211 United States