Director Radu Jude has released a short film condemning a Romanian media scandal involving a racist anti-Roma meme.
The video, Dear Intellectuals, opens with archive footage of Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt saying that she would “never be involved with intellectual matters again” slamming their “essence… [to] fabricate ideas”.
The clip then explains the anti-Roma meme, which features derogatory imagery, that began to circulate on Romanian social media in April when it caused a scandal after prominent writer and public intellectual, Vladimir Tismaneanu, shared it. Via voiceover, Jude picks apart comments by Tismaneanu’s defenders, some of whom insisted the meme was not racist, as well as others who claim that the racist stereotypes were justified.
Jude rose to fame thanks to his 2015 Silver Bear winning film Aferim!, Romania’s first film to explore the issue of Roma slavery.