The documentary “DECODING DACIA,” a 50mn film produced by Kogainon Films in Boston, Massachusetts, premiered at an event celebrating UNESCO’s 40th Anniversary of the Heritage Program, September 2012. Relevant to that showing is that both Sarmizegetusa and Trajan’s Forum are protected sites of the UNESCO program. The Romanian premiere was hosted by Ambassador Mark Gitenstein by-invitation at the U.S. Embassy a week later.
The film explores the legacy of the Dacian Kingdom from “past to present” through the lens of Rome’s invasion and conquest between 101 and 106 AD. All material in the film is original. Specially featured are highly detailed 3D digital reconstructions of Sarmizegetusa, the fortress of Blidaru, the Roman bridge across the Danube, and Trajan’s Forum and Column in Rome. Also important to the film is the work of noted artist Radu Oltean who crafted original illustrations depicting Dacian and Roman battle encounters.
Created as the third in a series entitled “Romania at War,” the documentary production was launched in January 2011 by Nicholas Dimancescu. In May of that year while filming above Cioclovina Cave, he tragically died in a fall from a high cliff. Inspired by his passion for exploring his Romania origins, his family and film company colleagues determined to complete his film.
Prior films directed by him included “HILL 789” about his grandfather’s World War One memoirs and “KNIGHTS OF THE SKY” about American air raids over Romania. Both were accompanied by stories in the National Geographic Magazine and featured on TVR1.
“We have stayed close to his interest in filming the rugged Carpathian Mountain landscapes and people who still populate the areas once inhabited by Dacians,” says his father and producer, Dan Dimancescu. “Much of our work involved filming both from the ground and from the air over the Sarmizegetusa zone and the Iron Gates. This approach gives life to ancient legacies embedded in the contemporary landscapes.”
The film was completed with advice from Romanian and American archaeologist and historian experts. It is timed to coincide with the 1900th anniversary of the inaugural of Trajan’s Forum in Rome in 112AD and Trajan’s Column a year later. Both the Forum and Column were build with the plunder won from the conquest of Dacia.
Concidentally, too, BBC-TV will premiere in September a film on the Roman Empire’s frontiers with Sarmizegetusa included as one of five sites highlighted. And most recently the Romanian Ministry of Culture announced the financing of research and restoration efforts of the Dacian sanctuary and fortresses.
Sept 24 – US Embassy / Bucharest, Romania