Children of the Decree

  • Florin Iepan
  • Germany, Romania
  • 2004
  • 52 min
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary, Jan Vrijman Fund

“Procreation is the social duty of all fertile women,” was the political thinking during the 1960s and 1970s in Romania. In 1966, Ceaucescu issued Decree 770, in which he forbade abortion for all women unless they were over forty or were already taking care of four children. All forms of contraception were totally banned. The New Romanian Man was born. By 1969, the country had a million babies more than the previous average. Thousands of kindergartens were built overnight. Children had to participate in sports and cultural activities. Romanian society was rapidly changing.

By using very interesting archival footage and excerpts from old fiction films and by interviewing famous personalities from that time – gynaecologists or mothers who were part of the new society – the director revives this period of tremendous oppression of personal freedom. Many deaths were caused by the mere fact that women, including wives of secret Romanian agents, famous TV presenters and actresses, had to undergo illegal abortions. Many women were jailed for having them. Some died by using awkward abortion methods, like injecting mustard or lemon juice into the uterus. Sex life was no fun anymore. But still, Romania had a demographic boom and hosted a world conference on population in 1974.

Credits

  • 52 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: English, Romanian
Director
Florin Iepan
Production
Razvan Georgescu for Westend Film & TV
Co-production
Sub Cult Ura
Cinematography
Wolf Truchsess von Wetzhausen, Carlos Fuchs, Peter Reuther
Editing
Wolfgang Lehmann

IDFA history

2004
Screened
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
Jan Vrijman Fund
2004

Silver Wolf Competition
2002
Supported with €4000 for Classic: Development

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IDFA history

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