Cold Waves

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Documentary directed by Alexandru Solomon

Romania, Germany, Luxembourg, 2007

Color, 108 minutes

Award: Gopo Award for Best Documentary

Woven around the invisible transmissions of short-wave radio, the 2007 documentary Cold Waves (Razboi pe Calea Undelor) documents the closely interlinked stories of three collective characters from the Cold War era: the voices of the Romanian section of Radio Free Europe (RFE) headquartered in Münich, the millions of Romanian listeners whose connection to the outside world depended on those voices, and the Ceausescu era secret police (Securitate), which consistently tried to hinder RFE’s activities. Founded in 1950 and initially financed by the CIA as an instrument of American propaganda, Radio Free Europe came under the control of the American Congress in 1978. Until the fall of communism in 1989, it provided millions of Romanians not only with real newsm but also with a glimmer of political hope.

Through face-to-face interviews and investigative journalism from both sides of the Iron Curtain, Cold Waves re-creates an important aspect of every-day life during the Cold War. It is a vivid portrayal and scrupulously researched contextualization of important initiatives by individuals such as Noel Bernard, Vasile Paraschiv, Paul Goma, and Monica Lovinescu, whose brave actions and fearless voices transgressed national and political borders. They and others like them challenged ideology and maneuvers on both sides of the Cold War divide that aimed to limit freedom of expression and violate basic human rights.

Izabel Galliera