This week we’d like to highlight Chuck Norris vs Communism from director Illinca Calugareanu. This documentary discusses the VHS boom and how Western films of the 80s helped ignite a revolution in Romania. Fans of the VHS era do not want to miss out on this one so please click here and donate to their IndieGoGo campaign. Tune into this week’s podcast where we have a chat with the film’s director and hit the jump for more information.
Chuck Norris vs Communism tells the story of the transformation of a nation through a seemingly small act of resistance. In the 1980s, Ceausescu, the dictator who had ruled Romania with an iron fist since 1965, became obsessed with repaying Western loans and building a palace of unprecedented proportions. At the same time, hidden from the scrutinising eyes of the Secret Police, Irina Nistor dubbed over 5,000 foreign blockbusters that entered Romania illegally. A sprawling horde of American films was unleashed into Romanian homes featuring everything from Megaforce and Bloodsport to Taxi Driver, from Ninja Death Squad and Fist of Fury to Brazil, from low-budget slasher films to Hollywood blockbusters. They allowed millions of Romanians to have contact with the West and escape their grim everyday life.
They turned Irina’s voice into a symbol of freedom, Chuck Norris, Van Damme and Bruce Lee into national heroes and allowed a whole country to subvert a brutal regime.