|Oglinda - Începutul adevărului|
|Directed by||Sergiu Nicolaescu|
|Written by||Ioan Grigorescu, Sergiu Nicolaescu|
|Starring||Ion Siminie (Ion Antonescu)
Adrian Vâlcu (Michael I of Romania)
Gheorghe Dinică (Mihai Antonescu)
Ştefan Radoff (Iuliu Maniu)
George Constantin (Andrey Vyshinsky)
Oglinda ("The Mirror"), also known as Începutul adevărului ("The Beginning of Truth"), is a controversial 1993 film by Romanian director Sergiu Nicolaescu. It depicts Romania during World War II, focusing on the Royal Coup that toppled Ion Antonescu, the Axis-allied Conducător and authoritarian Prime Minister.
The film was criticized as being apologetic of Antonescu, whom it portrays as a martyr figure, without mention being made of his complicity in the Holocaust (see Holocaust in Romania). Oglinda is also sympathetic to Antonescu's Nazi German ally Adolf Hitler, who is depicted as a calm and wise politician. Nicolaescu himself claims that journalist Octavian Paler labeled it a "fascist film".
The film was also criticized for several other errors. Historian and former public servant Neagu Djuvara, who in 1944 represented Antonescu's government to Stockholm, where he contacted the Soviet Union representative Alexandra Kollontai and unsuccessfully negotiated an armistice, rejected the film's allusive take on these events, which claimed that Romania's special requests had been ignored by their counterparts, and called it "a lie". According to Sergiu Nicolaescu, former Romanian King Michael I, the main decision factor behind Antonescu's deposition, objected to his character being depicted as a heavy smoker. Speaking in 2008, Djuvara criticized Oglinda in its entirety for mystification, while expressing similar reserves in respect to Nicolaescu's 2008 project, a biographical film on Michael's ancestor Carol I (Carol I - Un destin).
Nicolaescu's 1993 production received negative assessments from several film critics. As part of his commentary on Nicolaescu's entire filmography, beginning with films he produced under the communist regime, Valerian Sava depicted Nicolaescu as an untalented director caught in a "megalomaniac trance", and deemed Oglinda "a rudimentary historical reenactment". A similar overview was provided by Angelo Mitchievici, who described "the honor of a dueler", a cliché which he believed was characteristic of Oglinda as well as its predecessors Mihai Viteazul and Nemuritorii.
Nicolaescu defended his film, claiming that its critics were "afraid to look in the face of history." He referred to Oglinda as "real history, without any form of restriction", and "the first and only Romanian political film." He also maintained that Corneliu Coposu, a first-hand witness to the events, applauded the film upon its premiere.
- Liz Fekete, "Nostalgia for War-time Dictator Grows", in Independent Race and Refugee News Network, May 1, 1994
- Radu Ioanid, "Romania", in David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig (eds.), The World Reacts to the Holocaust, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore & London, 1996, p.251. ISBN 0-8018-4969-1
- Keno Verseck, Rumänien, Verlag C. H. Beck, Munich, 2007, p.183. ISBN 978-3-406-55835-1
- (Romanian) Presentation of Oglinda, on Sergiu Nicolaescu's official site
- (Romanian) Neagu Djuvara, Reacţii occidentale faţă de situaţia din România în perioada 1947-1960, Sighet Memorial Summer School Conference, 7th edition (2004), at LiterNet; retrieved March 31, 2009
- (Romanian) Alexandra Olivotto , "Sergiu Nicolaescu: 'Am făcut un film în două săptămâni, vă daţi seama?' ", in Cotidianul, August 28, 2008
- (Romanian) Valerian Sava, "Film. Gura păcătosului S. Nicolaescu şi 'despăducherea' cinematografiei", in Observator Cultural, Nr.97-98, January 2002
- (Romanian) Angelo Mitchievici, "Pistoliada – ultimul fum, ultimul cartuş...", in Observator Cultural, Nr. 420-421, April 2008