Synopsis by Ryan Shriver
Adapted from Romanian scholar Nicoleta Valéry-Grossu's 1976 memoirs, Binecuvantata fi inchisoare (Oh, Blessed Prison, loosely adapted from a line in an Alexander Solzhenitsyn poem) tracks the dissident's four years spent in a Soviet labor encampment and her subsequent religious and intellectual transformation. Beginning in 1949, Valéry-Grossu (portrayed by actress Maria Ploae) was falsely arrested and held under a bogus espionage charge, which then led to a staggeringly brutal three-month stint at a former monastery-turned prison. While at this prison (called Mislea), Valéry-Grossu discovers some inspiring etchings on a wall that prompt her to devote her remaining time to her previously dormant religious faith and in inspire her fellow captives, as well as those ordered to guard her. Her time at Mislea was cut short by her reassignment to the labor camps working on the Black Sea-Danube canal. Binecuvantata fi inchisoare, 65-year-old director Nicolae Margineanu's 2002 release, was selected for inclusion by the 2003 Montreal International Film Festival.
dissident, labor-camp, Soviet