Past Imperfect,

Romanian Film Festival
4th edition
26-29 April 2007

Curzon Mayfair
38 Curzon Street
London W1J 7TY

Love Sick

Feature film / Romania / 2006 / 84 min / colour / English subtitles Director: Tudor Giurgiu


Maria Popistasu, Ioana Barbu, Tudor Chirila, Catalina Murgea, Mircea Diaconu


Love. It just happens. No rules. It may look sick, but it’s deep and it hurts. For everyone, Alex and Kiki are just two good friends. They happen to be two girls experiencing another kind of love. For their family, Kiki and Sandu are sister and brother who sometimes fight. They happen to be lovers. Love Sick is about their stories...


“The dusty interiors of Bucharest reflect stale values, the sweet home-baked cakes purport to a strong sense of tradition, the open idyllic countryside suggests a love of freedom and the girls’ unconventional relationship perhaps points to a need for change. Indeed, the film itself can be seen as a coming of age for both the girls, and for Romanian cinema.” (Lucy Muss, The Guardian, 20 February 2006)


Born in 1972, Cluj, Romania. Graduated in 1995 from The National University of Drama and Cinematography, Bucharest. Former Director of the Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF), Cluj. Currently Director General of the Romanian National Television, since July 2005.

Selected filmography

2006: Love Sick; feature film, 85 min, colour – director, co-screenwriter
2004: The Great Communist Bank Robbery (directed by Alexandru Solomon); documentary, 75 min, colour – producer
2001: Popcorn Story; short film, 15 min, colour – director, producer
2000: Hausmeister; documentary, 23 min, colour – director, producer
1996: Fiesta; short film – director
1995: (S)He’s Alone in the World; short film, 15 min, colour – director
1994: No Traces; short film – director
1993: Neighbours; short film – director
1992: Fairy Tale; – director
1992: Girls Morgana (Fetele morgana); short film – director


Love Sick (literally "Sickly Liasons", a pun on de Laclos’ novel) makes a singular figure in this festival as the only feature film which does not engage with Romania’s past imperfect. It is a love story, a sick one according to some (or many), but still a story about the labour of love rather than the work of memory.
Giurgiu resists the pressure of history and puts it into brackets - although it still creeps in at times from behind the communist blocks of flats, the shabby rooms or the patriarchal mentalities. But he goes for the boiling point of teenage relationships, and for intensities of feeling conveyed in an understated approach which, as one journalist remarked, “make Brokeback Mountain look like gay porn by comparison”. A lesbian cum incestuous story may not be the first thing one might expect from Romania. Still, Giurgiu’s interest goes towards the tectonic shifts of emotional life rather than the physicality of the sexual encounter.

The film is based on the eponymous novel by Cecilia Stefanescu, who features as a co-screenwriter with Tudor Giurgiu. Some final touches were provided by Razvan Radulescu (screenwriter, with Cristi Puiu, of award winning Death of Mister Lazarescu). Love Sick ranked the first non-American title at the box office in Romania. (A.B.)