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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

behold the power of movies to bring down dictators

This is awesome. At The New York Times, documentary filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu explains:

In 1985, Irina Margareta Nistor, a young translator at the national television station, met a mysterious entrepreneur. He was smuggling, copying and distributing movies on VHS tapes. This was the beginning of a working relationship that lasted more than a decade. In all, Ms. Nistor says she dubbed more than 3,000 different films. Thanks to her, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee became popular heroes in Romania.

Thanks to these illegal dubbed films, Romanians were introduced to the outside world and got a glimpse of what freedom looked and felt like. This had to have contributed to the revolution that would sweep the country in 1989 and toss out the Communists.

Here’s the film:

As I’ve said before, there’s no such thing as “just a movie.”


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