Children of the Decree

"Procreation is the social duty of all fertile women," was the political thinking during the 1960s and 1970s in Romania. In 1966, Ceaucescu issued Decree 770, in which he forbade abortion for all women unless they were over forty or were already taking care of four children. All forms of contraception were totally banned. The New Romanian Man was born. By 1969, the country had a million babies more than the previous average. Thousands of kindergartens were built overnight. Romanian society was rapidly changing.

By using archival footage and excerpts from old fiction films as well as by interviewing famous persons from that time, the director revives the period of tremendous oppression. Many deaths were caused by the mere fact that women, including wives of secret Romanian agents, famous TV presenters and actresses, had to undergo illegal abortions. Many women were jailed for having abortions done to them. Some died by using awkward abortion methods, like injecting mustard or lemon juice into the uterus. Sex life was no fun anymore. Nevertheless, Romania had a demographic boom and hosted a world conference on population in 1974.

Producer / Production Details
Westend Film in association with Subcultura and Periscope Productions for ZDF/ARTE, ARD/WDR, TVOntario, TVR
Supported by MEDIA
Top Awards/Festivals
Silver Wolf Award at IDFA (2004)
Audience Award and Special Jury Mention at ZagrebDox (2005)
Best Documentary Award at Black Sea International Film Festival (2005)
Nominee for Prix Europa (2005)
Country
Romania
Training Programme
Masterschool 2002
Status
finished