Past Imperfect,

Romanian Film Festival
4th edition
26-29 April 2007

Curzon Mayfair
38 Curzon Street
London W1J 7TY

The Tube with a Hat

Short film / Romania / 2006 / 23 min / colour / English subtitles
Director: Radu Jude

Cast: Marian Bratu, Gabriel Spahiu, Natalia Calin, Alexandru Georgescu, Costica Draganescu


Very early in the morning, Marian, a 7 year-old boy from a small and isolated Romanian village, wakes up his father and persuades him to go to the city, in order to get their old TV set fixed. Despite the bad weather, the father finally agrees. Marian and his father start the trip, carrying the TV set, hoping that in the city they will find Bichescu, the only specialist who can fix their problem.
A short road-movie about the father-and-son relationship and the importance of small things in life.


View the full script here (Romanian only).

Director’s Statement

“Directing this film, my main concern was to tell the story as honestly as possible. I didn’t make any moral judgment about the characters, their actions and the world they live in. I only wanted to understand them, and to reveal their humanity.”


Best short film, Sundance Film Festival
Best short film Montpellier, Cottbus, Bilbao, and Trieste


Born in 1977, in Bucharest. Graduated the MEDIA University Bucharest, Film Making section, in 2003. He worked as an assistant director for Amen by Costa Gavras, The Rage, by Radu Muntean, and The Death of Mr Lazarescu by Cristi Puiu. He also directed a television series, music videos and adverts

Selected filmography

2006: The Tube with a Hat; short film, 23 min, colour – director
2003: The Black Sea; short film, colour – director
2003: Wrestling; short film
2001: The Problem; short film, colour – director
2000: Mr Popescu; documentary, colour – director


We have learned to agonize over restricting our children’s TV viewing time, for fear that television will absorb them, will eat their minds up, will inscribe them with unacceptable scenarios. But this is not an issue in The Tube with a Hat. Here the TV-set is a much praised connection to the world. When it breaks, it needs to be slavishly carried though mud and sludge, just to be fixed for the next show.

The film resonates from afar with an iconic Romanian documentary of the 1980s, in which a group of men from a work colony would walk several miles every evening after work, just to get to the nearest town and watch Madonna perform in concert, on the unique video machine in the region. As Madonna did not make acceptable communist entertainment, the filmmaker was required to interfere a bit with the material. When the film was released, a bunch of workers from a colony walked several miles every evening after work, to watch ‘Teleenciclopedia’, a well-known popular science programme of the time. To say more about this would spoil the plot. Radu Jude’s Sundance success proves that strong ‘local’ stories travel best. (A.B.)