Production: Radu Gabrea in production with The Red Gloves

By Anca Păduraru

    Romanian director Radu Gabrea continues his screen adaptations of Romanian born Saxon writer Eginald Schlattner's novels, this time with The Red Gloves (Mănuşile roşii).

    In 2007, Gabrea released The Beheaded Rooster (Der geköpfte Hahn), which was the adaptation of Schlattner's first successful German novel, only to reignite the controversy surrounding Schlattner's past as an informer who handed over many of his fellow Saxon writers to the communist intelligence services in Romania.

    Gabrea was unfazed by the prospect of yet another tug of words over his work advancing even more Schlattner's success. On May he was on his 15th day of filming on set at Atlantis studio, in Bucharest.

    The shooting is scheduled to last a total of 27 days, and the budget to reach some €700,000. Half of the funding came from the National Center for Cinematography (www.cncinema.abt.ro), with the rest supplied by the Romanian public television (www.tvr.ro), Zenith Media advertising company (www.zenithmedia.ro) and Uj Budapest Film Studio (www.ujbudapestfilmstudio.hu).

    Gabrea's production company Total TV is in charge of executive production.

    The Red Gloves tells the story of a young Saxon writer pressured, during months of interrogation and torture by the Romanian Securitate, to incriminate his literary colleagues. To Gabrea - himself a political prisoner for almost ten months, in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 - making the movie was "a means towards the end of reenacting for the modern public the grim realities which should never be forgotten."

    The Red Gloves does not have an advertising budget, but Gabrea is unapologetic, stating Romanian law was changed so as factoring in advertisement money became impossible. The film also does not have domestic distribution. "It would be unrealistic, given that all over Romania there are some 30 cinema halls in all," said Gabrea. "My only expectation is to present the film at various festivals and market it abroad."

    Indeed, released last year on the Romanian market, The Beheaded Rooster sold some 3,800 tickets, coming sixth after the best grossing domestic-made movie, Sergiu Nicolaescu's The Survivor, which sold some 27,000 tickets.

    The cast for The Red Gloves is both Romanian and German, and includes Alexandru Mihăescu, in the leading role, Andi Vasluianu, Mircea Rusu, Peter Nitsche, Mathias Stein, David Zimmerschied, and guest appearances from Marcel Iureş and Udo Schenk. The cinematographer is Ion Marinescu, while Florin Gabrea handles the set design.