I was raised in Romania in the 1980s, under a Communist regime
that, among countless repressions, reduced television to two hours
a day of dull propaganda, traditional music, patriotic poems and
censored films. One day when I was 6, my parents found a way to
borrow a VCR. They invited their friends, and all night they
watched grainy VHS tapes of Hollywood B-movies. I remember the
films, but more so I remember how I felt when I stepped into the
living room — like walking into a secret, magical and free world.
All the dialogue on these movies was dubbed into Romanian in a
husky, high-pitched woman’s voice. Throughout my childhood, these
films provided a glimpse into the forbidden West, resplendent with
blue jeans, Coke and skyscrapers. As Hollywood movies became
ubiquitous through the black market, this voice became one of the
most recognizable in Romania. Yet no one knew who she was.
After the 1989 revolution I learned the true story, which I
present here in this Op-Doc video.