Constantin si Elena

Synopsis: A warm documentary about an elderly Romanian couple. Each day, they still manage to enjoy life and each other, but grieve over the finiteness of it all.
102 min


If we leave this here 'til morning...


I think it cracked.

Do you see the grease on the rim?


But it can't be!

- Then where is it from?

- I don't know.

Put that there!

Turn it a little.

And this...


- Don't walk on those sheet irons!

- OK, I won't.

You might fall in the fire!

Not that I mind it, but

you'll ruin my smoke-house!

- Oh dear!

- What "Oh dear"?

- Oh, dear, I forgot the bucket!

- Go get it then...

Hold this a little.

Let me just put a stick over there...

Have a sausage, everybody!

Yes, yes...

Hi, Liviu! Stop and have a bit of sausage.

Let me just take it out.

Here, fresh and tasty!

God bless you for it!

- May it be for the peace of your son's soul!

- God bless you.

Kiss your hand, Ma'am.

Hello, Liviu!

- I gave him a bit of sausage...

- Good for you.

- What have you done? Where did you put them?

- To have a taste...

- Ah! Put them here!

- Be patient! I have more...

- Careful! They might break!

- Here.



"Careful! They might break"...

Yeah, yeah... they just did...

- Not even a dog would eat this.

- Right!...

And the cat, always with us...

- Come, let's take it all at once!

- But we can't...

- Can't we? Even if we use the rope??

- No, no, don't bother.

Hold this for a second. I'll go up!

- Oh, my dear!

- But the light is not on up there!

It is, since last time. Go up!

Is it?

- Yes, I see it!

- Oh yes, I see it now.

Let's go back to the mill,

Let's go spin that wheel!


Stop there, take this first!

Oh dear, oh dear!

- Careful, the bucket is broken!

- No, it's not...

... It's not allowed to break.

Hey old man, where did you go?!


You climbed up, so stay there!

I stay here...

Why not? Did I put you up there?

Oh, dear! Will it work?!

I told you!

Hold it from that side!

I can't. I put the other one here!

Come, get it up!

Up we go...

Up with the crane!

Now, loosen it. Alright.

Let's see if I can untie it now...

This is a hell of a knot, mister!

- So the pig won't run away!

- Right...

- This sleigh we used, it was Ana's.

- Really?

Yes. I made it for her when she was little.

Now maybe Ioana will ride in it...

her daughter.

She could. But they rarely come over.

- They surely have another sleigh now.

- What?

- They surely bought another sleigh now.

- Yes, a modern one. A bob-sleigh, maybe.


We praise You, Lord...

What are you doing?

Leave the singing for the church!

Let me help you dress up now!

We praise You, God...

Come on!

We give thanks unto You...

And we pray unto You...

Come on! I want to see you dressed!

And we pray...

We pray...

Leave that on!

We pray...

Take this...


Listen... how many years have passed

since we got married?

Well... do the math.

- 9th of Feb... January...

- 9th of January...

- 1953...

- Yes.

And now we're in 2008...

So, this month we complete only...

My God, they're so many!

- What a winter we had then...

- You see... Snow was up to your waist.


What a winter, my dear!...

When I remember it...

As if it has never been...

Remember how they blocked our sleigh,

before the wedding?

- Oh, the "checkpoint" tradition.

- Yes.

- But you didn't give them anything...

- I did... I sure did.

- Ah, when they came at the wedding.

- Yes, yes, I gave them.

What a tradition that was!

I'll go take my watch.

So I'll know when to come back.

So many years have passed...

Good times, bad times... Sorrows and joys...


So many years...

No use to weep...

The years have passed, we got old...

Tomorrow or the day after... we'll be gone.

The youngsters will take our place.

It has always been this way.

- Leave the sleeve, or else you can't look at the watch...

- Oh, you're right...

- So I can look at my watch...

- Yes, maybe you have a date...

Yes... with a granny.


A granny...

- Well, I've had my dates, didn't I?

- You sure did...

But that was long ago...

Go, go, you go...

Come back, you come...

Right, you want me back to feed the cows...

to clean the stable...

Otherwise, some other guy would come...

- What guy?

- A younger, a harder working one.

I think you do your work well enough.

OK... Now let's find

something that smells nice.

Wait, I have to clean this a little, first.


- I didn't give you any money. Do you have some?

- Yes, about 4 coins. It's enough.

I think this doesn't work. What's wrong?

Not this, the other one!

Keep this for yourself.

What would I need it for?!

You use it when...

When what?!

Ah, that one works, too.

But this one's for the ladies...

- Oh, dear! You know what that means...

- I'll smell like a lady.

That's a good one!

- How did it occur to you?!

- Ah! It stings.

- Did you spray the fur cap?

- I did!


I'll give you candles.

I think I already have the...

What are they called?

- I had some... Where have I put them?

- Here, light this big one.

- What's this?

- Light this one on the grave. It'll last longer.

A candle!

- Mornin', Vasile!

- Mornin', Uncle Costica. I'm going to the valley, too.

Come, then!

Come, I'll give you a free ride.

I'll give you one, too.

We'll give free rides to each other.

- To the church...

- Me too, I guess.

Come, Gheorghe, up we go!

- It's hard climbing, isn't it?

- Yes, a bit.

It's hard.

God only knows how many times my father climbed

up these stairs. These very same stairs.

What can we do about it?!

At least it helps us stay in good shape.

Yes, right.

Light of Light, True God of True God Begotten,

not made, of one essence with the Father

Holy God... Holy Immortal...

Blessed are those with humble hearts...

For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn...

For they shall be comforted.

Blessed be those who follow God's words...

I'll put some wire here, soft wire...

I make little squares...

And you put this on the pot...

So you can wring out the water

when you make the green cheese.

- See?

- I see. Bravo!

Well, your graybeard, he knows stuff,

but he's too weak now.

- He's just a little too old.

- Do you need strength for this?!

- You need some talent...

- Yes, some caviar up here...

But my head is old and

rotten, of almost no use.


My head, my poor, poor head...

It's good the way it is.

- I'll take this piece out first.

- I don't think you can do it.

- You don't?

- I don't.

You don't, but I do!

- But where did you get this?

- From the old washing machine.

I detached it from there.

Look what I found here!

Oh, you found your notebook!

I found my notebook.

I've been looking for it...

Where was it?

There's a poem, not that old.

It's since we were retired...

- Do you want to hear it?

- Yes, absolutely.

"Life is Beautiful"

When you are young, you feel

That the world is oh, so clear.

The years slip by with no delay

And you get older every day.

When you're young you got it all:

Love, life, power: it's a ball!

You're not aware that every thing

Hangs from the thinnest string.

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Andrei Dascalescu

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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