Irina Margareta Nistor

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Irina Margareta Nistor

Irina Margareta Nistor (born 26 March 1957[1]) is a Romanian translator and film critic.[2][3]


Nistor worked as a translator of TV programs in Romania under the Communist regime, and is known for secretly dubbing over 3,000 banned movie titles on VHS tapes smuggled in from the West over a period of five years.[4] During the time of the Cold War, these tapes quickly spread throughout Romania, and her voice became widely known throughout the country. In a recent New York Times video about Nistor, one of the interviewees observes: "We did start to wonder why all the films were dubbed by the same voice… (Nistor’s) is the most well known voice in Romania after Ceaușescu’s...”[5]

Nistor worked for The Romanian Television from 1980 until 1999, first as a film translator, then as a program producer.[6] In 1993, she produced, in French, for TV5 Europe a one-hour program called “The Romanian Cinema after 1989”.[6]

Nistor is featured in the documentary Chuck Norris vs Communism, directed by London-based Romanian filmmaker, Ilinca Calugareanu.[5][7] Its European premiere was at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on 24 and 25 June 2015.[8] The film was screened at the Hawaii European Cinema: Hawaii's European Film Festival on 17 October 2015.[9][10] The film also screened at Cinequest 2016, in San Jose, California, USA.[11]

Nistor remains active within the Romanian film industry. In 2012, she launched the Psychoanalysis and Film Festival, headed by psychoanalyst Andrea Sabbadini, which was the Romanian extension of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival presided by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci.[12] For nine years, she has presented a weekly one-hour Sunday program on Radio Guerrilla, The Voice of the Movies.[6] In 2006, she published a book about her mentor, film critic D.I. Suchianu.[6] She was an HBO adviser and a member of the screenplay jury in film financing procedures of the Romanian National Fund of Cinematography.[6] She has also been the film selector for the DaKINO international film festival.


  1. ^ Imedia Plus Group SA. "Irina Margareta Nistor". Cinemagia.)
  2. ^ "Child's Pose fiction film selected to represent Romania in 2014 edition of the Academy Awards".
  3. ^ Department of Foreign Affairs Archived 2014-02-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Kit Gillet in Bucharest. "The voice that brought Hollywood films to communist Romania's TV screens | World news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  5. ^ a b "'VHS vs. Communism'". The New York Times. 18 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Irina Margareta Nistor". Archived from the original on 2014-02-20.
  7. ^ "Chuck Norris vs Communism review".
  8. ^ "How video brought down Nicolae Ceausescu". Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Hawaii European Cinema: Chuck Norris vs. Communism". Hawaii European Cinema: Hawaii European Film Festival. 17 October 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Hawaii European Cinema: All Films". Hawaii European Cinema: Hawaii European Film Festival. October 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Cinequest Film Festival". Cinequest. March 2016. Archived from the original on 1 October 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
  12. ^ The Butler’s preview on Nov 24 at International Psychoanalysis and Film Festival