From neighbourly disputes over garlic-heavy cooking to memories of Ceaușescu’s heatless winters, The Block explores the rich social and material universe of a Romanian apartment building. It follows the story of the block’s administrator, in his effort to mediate relationships between neighbours and maintain peace and order. In doing so, it crayons the rich nuances of the inhabitants’ everyday lives. The block comes to life as its inhabitants constantly reshape it to defy the passing of time, while its failing infrastructure encroaches on their neighbourly relations. This is a film about people’s homes, and the spaces in between.
Maria Șalaru will speak about the film, which she produced as part of her PhD in Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford.