The Great Communist Bank Robbery

In 1959 six Romanian Jewsfive communist officials who’d been drummed out of the party and the wife of oneheld up the national bank in Bucharest for reasons that remain unclear (the stolen cash was traceable inside Romania and worthless outside). After hundreds of arrests and thousands of interrogations, they were caught and, in order to avoid death sentences, agreed to reenact their heist for a propaganda film called Reconstruction; except for the wife, all of them were executed anyway after a show trial. Filmmaker Alexandru Solomon deftly explains what he can in this 2004 documentary, using interviews and excerpts from the mendacious Reconstruction, but the surviving wife apparently eluded his grasp. In English and subtitled Romanian. 70 min. (JR)

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