Possible Sounds of Early Cinema

Drăguș – Life in a Romanian Village

1929, silent film, documentary, runtime: 45 minutes
music: Simina Oprescu

One of the first sociological and ethnographical documentary films in the world, made by Professor Dimitrie Gusti (1880-1955, founder of the Sociological School of Bucharest) and his team of trained sociologists and students.

The documentary tracks the activities and customs from the mountain village Drăguş (Făgăraş county), later established as a privileged setting for Romanian sociologists and anthropologists. Predated by an intense field research, the shootings took place between 15.07-15.08.1929 and were supervised by Dimitrie Gusti within the fifth campaign of sociological research, conducted by the Department of Ethical and Political Sociology. Cinematography and film editing by Nicolae Barbelian, while Paul Sterian and Nicolae Argintescu-Amza were the directors and screenwriters.

The absolute premiere of the film took place on the 4th of December 1929, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, and the official premiere was on 5th of March 1930, at the National Theatre of Bucharest. The film projection was accompanied by a rework by Constantin Brăiloiu, based on local songs collected by Harry Brauner and performed by musicians brought from village Drăguş. In the 1930s-1940s the film was presented abroad (France, Germany, USA) illustrating the lectures of Dimitrie Gusti.