(Ro)Antics & Movie (Ro)Mania

The following excerpt is from an email sent by a friend in the Peace Corps. It is in response to the Wired blog post: Movie (Ro)mania

From jackieblue18:

Romania is up-and-coming but still falling behind so very attractive place for business and the film industry, however, I wonder if the allure is so strong anymore now that the other 10 eastern European countries joined the EU and the illusion has faded. Unfortunately, joining the EU to Romanians is more like getting to the finishline, only they don't realize that once they get there they need to start a whole 'nother race and be even fiercer in competition.

In Bucharest, there is a clock in the center of the main square that counts down the days until May 2007 when they are supposed to get in, my question is what happens then? Peace Corps will probably be leaving Romania by then and USAID is closing down now too. Where I lived during my training, Rasnov, was one of the locations where Cold Mountain was shot. And I also went hiking in Zarnesti where the final scene in the mountains was filmed. It is amazingly beautiful here.

And more recently, I was an extra in a vampire film called "Blood Rain." I do not recommend being an extra in Romania. It was shot here in Sighisoara and they say there's usually a movie or two shot every year in Sighisoara because of its medieval history and buildings. But there are groups that are fighting against such activities, although the film industry is strongly supported by the mayor of Sighisoara.

As far as the American election, I think Romania expected Bush to win and so all the newspapers here predicted he would win. Romanians are very pro-America, they even have troops in Iraq, just this year they joined NATO and now highways are being constructed and military bases are becoming more present (I hear fighter jets overhead now and then, and that's something new for people here). I have some friends who don't like Bush, mostly my one Romanian friend that has been in the US for 6 years and is here now doing her research for her PhD.

I'm not sure Romanians care that much, I think they might have been more nervous with Kerry getting elected, but we could probably elect Fred Flintstone and they'd say ok- you're Americans, you must know what is good. Again, unfortunately, most Romanians I have met here see America as a panacea, if they could only get there, their lives would be perfect. I have recently been asked by a Romanian guy to marry him, of course, since I barely know him, I said no. Maybe it was a joke, but if I had said yes, it would not have been a joke.