‘Eu sunt Adam!’ (‘I am Adam!’) is a 1001 nights story that takes place in the inferno. The role of Seherazada is played by a professor of music in the 1950s, the years of the worst repression under the Communist rule, the years when people just disappeared from the streets swallowed into hell by black cars, investigated and condemned for imaginary reasons by a regime that after having liquidated physically its enemies had to search permanently for new ones in order to justify the existence of its institutions of repression, inventing  victims among its intellectuals and later from the rows of its own supporters. His stories are first the subject of the curiosity of a high Communist dignitary, but they soon trigger the curiosity and then the cruelty of the secret police, especially after the fall of his highly placed protector. Adam tries to protect himself and to gain time by inventing stories that meld fantasy and reality, past and present, magic and real but he soon is swallowed by the very fuzzy substance of the stories he is telling. The only reality he gets back to is the one of terror and repression and the price he will pay is eventually the one of his own sanity.

 

source http://www.cinemagia.ro/filme/eu-sunt-adam-eu-sunt-adam-4575/imagini/

 

Director and script writer Dan Pita built the stories and the dreams of Adam from a collection of stories written by the Romanian-born historian of religions Mircea Eliade during his youth in Romania in the 1930s. Eliade who flew to the West after the war to never return to Romania was placed at index during much of the Communist rule years to be fully recuperated after the fall of the Communism when this film was made. The short stories the film is based constitute the basic substance of the film, a mix of stories from the fringes of the Romanian inter-wars society with gates that open permanently to the unknown, with openings to sensuality but also to the moral questions that torment the hero to the same extent as the physical tortures he is put to by his tormentors.

(video source TorianExperience)


The narrative structure of the film is not easy to follow, and may be confusing especially for viewers who know nothing about the literature of Eliade or about Romanian history. Yet the gates into unknown and the fantastic elements do not necessarily demand rigorous explanation, so I would recommend rather a viewing and reading a la David Lynch. When Adam tells the stories about past the juxtaposition is not only between reality and fantastic but also between profane and sacred, and between the tern reality of a country fallen under Communist rule and a past where dreaming and fantasizing were still possible. The main role is played by Stefan Iordache, one of the greatest Romanian actors (unfortunately he died a few years ago) and his creation dominates the film and is one of the best in his career. The final tragic mask, maybe the mask of insanity is the protection of last resort, the only one left when all other defenses, including fantastic have failed.

(video source TorianExperience)

The quality of the cinematography is unfortunately poor as the film was made a few years before Romanian cinema acquired the technical means for good quality films. Yet, there is a lot to watch in the camera movements, as Dan Pita was at the time he made this film a director who eventually freed from the constraints of the cinematography had the opportunity to make the films he always dreamed to. From an esthetic and creative point of view ‘Eu sunt Adam!’ is one of his best.