The curse of the land, the curse of love is Romanian filmmaker Mircea Mureșan's adaptation of a powerful story written by renowned author Liviu Rebreanu depicting Transylvanian rural life prior to WWII and the social politics between the peasants and the intellectuals. The story centres upon the protagonist Ion (Șerban Ionescu) and his obsession with becoming a rich. His scheme is to impregnate Ana (Ioana Crăciunescu), the naive daughter of a wealthy boyar (landowner) in his village so that he can marry her and steal her dowry. Although Ana is a suitable wife, warm-hearted and hard working, Ion remains infatuated with Florica (Sorina Stănculescu), a stunning young woman however lacking of any form of wit. In his plight to succeed with his plans, Ion mentally degrades Ana, whom up to this point has suffered physical abuse and verbal insults by the hand of her father. Ion effectively ruins Ana from the point he takes her virginity and the beginning of a string of tragic consequences begin to manifest. I've seen quite a number of Romanian films from the 60's, 70's and 80's - many historical epics and literary adaptations - and I must say this is one of the best because it illustrates a type of human psychology that is timeless while providing insight into a culture and part of the world rarely explored in film theory.
Filmed in the ethereal Transylvanian countryside - my birthplace and a place where I will always be spiritually linked to no matter where I am in the world. "Transylvania... ", my grandfather insists in declaring time and again, "...is the most beautiful and peaceful part of Romania."