The Zaharia Project

by Victor Galușca

Moldova  |  2020  |  In development


This film begins with me drinking homemade wine with 70-year old Andrey in front of his house in Rogojeni, a mostly abandoned village in Moldova. Andrey is one of 15 residents who live there and remember when a man named Zaharia walked around the bustling village with his Liubitel 2 camera taking portraits of all the residents. Four years ago, I stumbled across an attic full of negatives burrowed under the trash. A treasure of 4000 images left behind by Zaharia that captured the dignity of the people in the town. At that time in Moldova, most photos were taken by official photographers of the Soviet Union to glorify collective life, but Zaharia showed everyday people in the 1960’s as individuals with emotion and pride. I became really passionate by the dignity and pride I recognized on people’s faces in almost every photo. Now I started the process of restoring the village to honor the people, lifestyle and the photographer who were almost left behind but my family desperately wants me to move to America “for the good life.”


Victor Gălușca graduated Multimedia faculty at the Academy of Arts in Chișinău, Moldova with focus on directing and editing. He participated in numerous documentary film workshops like The World from Dawn till Dusk, Eurasia.DOC, MOLDOX Lab as well as Junge Lebenswelten, where he was selected to pitch his project at German Film Institute in Frankfurt and got the prize for the best pitch. Victor’s main interest as filmmaker is to observe the consequences of massive emigration in his home country, especially in its most remote places, and to raise the questions of history and time. In 2016 he discovered by chance almost 4000 negatives in an abandoned house that inspired him to start working on his first documentary feature THE ZAHARIA PROJECT (wt).


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