Romania’s ‘I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians’ Wins Top Prize at 2018 KVIFF

Romania’s ‘I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians’ Wins Top Prize at 2018 KVIFF

I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, the latest film from Romanian director Radu Jude (Aferim!, Scarred Hearts), was awarded the top prize at the 2018 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival during the closing ceremony on Saturday evening.

A satirical drama that takes its title from an infamous speech that led to WWII genocide on Europe’s Eastern Front, I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians shines a spotlight on present-day racism and prejudice in Romania.

The film was a co-production with the Czech Republic, as was the director’s 2015 production Aferim!.

“As we are in the Czech Republic and my film was made with the Czech co-production, I would like to thank all the Czech people involved, primarily Jiří Konečný”, director Jude said while accepting the Crystal Globe last night. 

I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians beat out competition that included Sueño Florianópolis, an Argentinean comedy-drama from director Any Katz that was awarded the Special Jury Prize along with a Best Actress Award for its star, Mercedes Morán.

Olmo Omerzu, who was born in Slovenia but currently lives in the Czech Republic, was awarded Best Director for his film, Winter Flies, while Moshe Folkenflik won Best Actor for the film Geula.

This year’s KVIFF jury, which included Mark Cousins, Zrinka Cvitešić, Marta Donzelli, Zdeněk Holý and Nanouk Leopold, also cited two special mentions, for the Russian drama Jumpman and the Slovenian production History of Love.

In East of the West competition, the Kyrgyzstan drama Suleiman Mountain won the top prize while Hungary’s Blossom Valley was awarded a Special Jury Prize.

Putin’s Witnesses, a behind-the-scenes look at the rise of Vladmir Putin in Russia at the turn of the century and also a Czech co-production, was awarded the top Documentary prize, while Walden, set amid the forests of Austria, was awarded the Special Jury Prize.

This year’s audience award was a surprise: Barry Levinson’s Oscar-winning Rain Man, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018. The director was present at the KVIFF closing ceremony, where he was also awarded the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinematography.

“This is really a wonderful festival and an incredible experience for us,” Levinson said while receiving the award. 

“And also an extraordinary honour for a boy from Baltimore to be now granted an award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema here in the Czech Republic. Film is an artistic form that interconnects the whole world. While differing feelings drive us apart, we should bear in mind that we are in fact all quite similar.” 

Actor Robert Pattinson was also present during the closing ceremony in Karlovy Vary, where he received the Festival President’s Award

“I have always wanted to come to this Festival as so many filmmakers told me how wonderful it was,” Pattinson noted.

“The more the film industry changes, the more important festivals such as the one in Karlovy Vary become. The reason is that they give voice to films with rather low promotion, and that is the kind of films I want to make.”

The next edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will take place from June 28 to July 6, 2019.

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