Past perfect

Show details :
Directed by: Alexandra Badea

Costumes: Ana Ienașcu
Music and sound design: Claudiu Urse
Project manager: Claudia Maior
Project assistant: Corina Predescu

Cast: Ioana Cosma, Ali Deac, Iustinian Turcu, Gabriela Pîrlițeanu, Fabiola Petri, Alexandru Malaicu, Cendana Trifan, Ștefan Tunsoiu, Andrei Gîlcescu, Horia Fedorca

Premiere date: 17.04.2018
Performance presented in Romanian, with translation into English

Show type : Drama
Duration : 1h 45min
Premier Date : 01-03-2023

Radu has left a few years ago to study in the States. Vera lives in Romania, works for a foreign company. Radu and Vera are distant cousins, they reunite after many years in a complicated family situation. An inheritance divides the family. Trying to find a solution to this problem, they uncover fragments of a troubling past. From one generation to another, secrets have been passed on which fuel the same types of behaviour, the same impossibility to love and to be loved. Key characters from their family history appear from the past into the present:

Ana, Vera’s grandmother, during her adolescence witnessed a tragedy that scared her forever, a tragedy that moves past the personal setting and that involved her family and many others from Iași. Ana witnessed a time in Romanian history which was left unsaid, which was hidden. Radu and Vera try to understand what had happened then, this fragment of history troubles them and at the same time, pushes them to understand what is happening with them, what are their weak and unassumed parts, what possibility they have to change something in their own lives, but also in the place they live in.

Matei, Radu’s grandfather and Ana’s brother, is the one who has travelled through time, being on both sides of the barricade, sometimes a collaborator with the torturers, other times a victim of an unjust system. Radu has been living with an image of his grandfather, and it is starting to deteriorate. A question comes back to him obsessively: How can we rebuild ourselves after we have learned the truth about those we grew up with? What happens when the heroes of our childhood didn’t always rise to the occasion? Is betrayal inherited from one generation to another?

Eva, Radu’s mother, raised by Ana to hide her past, is representative of another historical part of Romania, in which, in order to survive, one had to learn how to lie, snitch, collaborate. Like Ana, Eva resisted, but lost everything. Eva speaks to Radu from outside of time, she tells him everything she couldn’t say while they were together. Eva mends the past by telling the truth.

Looking into the family archives and documenting on the internet about the past, Radu and Vera go through an illuminating pathway, gain the courage to look themselves in the face, to accept who they are and see their deepest desires to the end. For a long time, to protect themselves, they chose to run away from problems, to hide or resign, now they choose to act, to change something and fight for their ideas.

Past perfect is a text about the scars history has left on us, about the hatred and cowardice of the 40s, about the terror of the 50s, about the fear of the following years, about collaborators, and most of all, about those who resisted. About how a family passes through these periods, about how the political context destroys love, about how in a family, girls are always sacrificed to protect the future of boys, about how generations pass on the same ways of thinking, and most of all, about how today’s generation has the courage and the strength to look behind and clean up. Alexandra Badea