planet petrila


22 NOV / 19:30 PM – 21:30

Goethe-Institut ROTTERDAM

We are happy to announce that our festival Spotlight:Romania #4 (1-18 December, The Hague) comes to Rotterdam with an On Tour Screening. 

Planet Petrila is an unlikely story unfolding at the intersection of mining and art. Mining used to be an important activity in Romania during communism, with towns were built from scratch for that end, with the local community life centred around the mines. The profession itself was dangerous but stable and lucrative, creating camaraderie and making people proud. All of this is now part of a distant past. The industry collapsed swiftly after 1989, when the crash of the industry also brought down the history and the culture it created.

The Petrila mine, just like other mines in the region, is facing closure followed by complete demolition. But artist Ion Barbu won’t let that happen. He is on a mission to preserve the cultural heritage of Petrila and transform the closed mine into a cultural center. An ex-miner himself, his resistance and determination take unexpected forms. Through murals, performances, protests and a theatre festival, Barbu fights dry pragmatism with colour and spontaneity, and in the process illustrating the cultural potential of Petrila, if given the chance to exist. As the clock is ticking, only one question remains: will his efforts be enough to change Petrila’s faith?

Introduction by:  

Bianca Olivia Nita, writer and co-founder of Spotlight:Romania.


 Carmen Sylva Foundation: Romanian Cultural Centre Rotterdam,

 Astra Film Festival


Title: Planet Petrila / Planeta Petrila

Directed by: Andrei Dascalescu

Documentary/2016/ 80’/ RO spoken, EN subtitles


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