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The fire victims of corruption

Regissør: Alexander Nanau


Clearly about power and corruption is the documentary Colectiva from Romania by director Alexander Nanau. The starting point is the fire during a concert at the club of the same name in Bucharest in 2015. 27 quickly died in the chaos that followed – we also see footage among the public as the fire starts. But the entire 37 more died in the next few weeks – due to miserable sick home conditions with aggressive infections as a result.

Authorities and businesses are revealed in the documentary as corrupt. And rather than mass media, it is the small sports newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor which reveals it all. It actually ends with the government falling.

Journalist Catalin Tolontan and his colleagues – who in Venice gave us a full 10 (!) Minutes of applause after the film screening – gradually revealed one after the other who scoffed at the state money. First out was the company Hexi Parma, which supplied most of Romania's 350 hospitals with antiseptics – the cleaning fluid they had secretly thinned out to almost the tenth. A doctor repeatedly warned that this was ineffective at breaking the dangerous bacteria – over a full eight years. In the film, the health semi denies the nurse that they received these warnings. Hexi Parma's owner, who hid money in foreign banks, is eventually charged, but dies suddenly in a suspicious car accident ...

The Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper then followed the hospital bosses, who they revealed via some internal whistleblowers to send large sums of money to their own private companies abroad. And it is revealed that several have given approvals and false approvals for payment.

The result of the newspaper articles was a series of demonstrations in the streets. After the fall of the government, a temporary technocrat government is set up, where activist Vlad Voiculescu becomes Minister of Health who stands on the side of the oppressed and makes changes. For example, in the film we also see a clearly corrupt mayor – who insists that lung operations can be performed, despite the fact that there is certainly no adequate equipment for this. Voiculescu points this out publicly.

But the changes will not last. Six months later, the same corrupt and populist politicians ("Social Democrats") are re-elected at the top – one would not think it was true after the many revelations.

When power prevails, the truth must depart. The tragedy in Romania is one
example of how sick and systematic corruption is used around the world. And the corrupt prioritize their own, as they in Bucharest financially refused to send patients to Germany, even
whether many lives could have been saved.

More from Venice: The tragic mafia

Truls Lie
Truls Liehttp: /www.moderntimes.review/truls-lie
Editor-in-chief in MODERN TIMES. See previous articles by Lie i Le Monde diplomatique (2003–2013) and Morgenbladet (1993-2003) See also part video work by Lie here.

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