“Osânda”, the setting of Amza Pellea’s secret love: the film that shouldn’t exist, the source of a fascinating story

The film “Osânda” was also the perfect setting for actor Amza Pellea’s secret love. The love story between the artist and his partner on the film set would have had a chance never to exist.

The film “Osânda”, which is the screen version of Victor Ion Popa’s novel “Velerim and Veler Doamne”, led Sergiu Nicolaescu to accept the completion of a film of little significance, “Hot Days”. Thus, in March 1975, the Council of Culture and Socialist Education refused to approve the production of “Osânda”.

Dumitru Ghișe, a member of the Central Committee comes with a recommendation to the director to make a topical film, so Dumitru Popescu will be embellished and will give his consent to the film in which Amza Pellea was to play.

“That’s what they called the regime’s films, which dealt with life issues with socialist realism. Very rarely did any of them succeed in being good. I had successfully avoided such themes, which, no matter how the film turned out in the end, remained a compromise you had to accept. My friend Francisc Munteanu, who was a master of compromise, suggested that I adapt his latest novel, “Trees Die Standing”, which is a wonderful title,” says Sergiu Nicolaescu.

Not a month later, Sergiu Nicolaescu received the approvals shortly after handing over the director’s cut of the film to the No. 5 Film House. About half a year later, shooting begins, but not before Hot Days is completed, which was shot in 22 days.

The film’s script tells the story of Manlache Preda who returns home after a decade in the pit and another two years at war. He is falsely accused of the murder of the nobleman Leon Pârâianu, so he decides to flee to the mountains with the love of his life, Rusanda.

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love amza pelea
The love story is translated from film to reality

The cast includes Amza Pellea, Ioana Pavelescu, Gheorghe Dinică, Emmerich Schäffer, Aimée Iacobescu, Alexandru Dobrescu, Sergiu Nicolaescu, Ernest Maftei, Mihai Mereuță, Corneliu Gîrbea, Vasile Nițulescu and Constantin Rauțchi.

Amza Pellea caught in the snares of love on set

If in the film, Manlache and Rusanda live a love story, the reality was not far from this scenario either. Amza Pellea and Ioana Pavelescu blossomed a love affair on the set, and they lived together for a while, despite the fact that the actor was married.

Few people knew about this story, as it was a secret that managed to come out, but fellow actor Candid Stoica managed to get the great actor to confess the romance between him and Ioana Pavelescu. The interview was taken on 24 December 1982 and subsequently published on Candid Stoica’s blog.

“Nobody’s weak spot. At “Osânda” I had a dare from the top. A grown man, I lost my head and fell in love with my partner in the film and, so as not to do double bookkeeping, as Nea Iancu used to say, I left home, because the girl I fell in love with was, my boy, something that only exists in the movies, just for fun.

She had legs that started straight from her neck and, to save us from wasting time wondering what happened next, I confess that the romance ended like a quickly fading blizzard, that being winter and cold, the girl asked me for a mink. What am I to do? I turned from corner to corner, to see if it would happen, if it would happen, you see God, so that winter would pass. But I had the misfortune of a long winter, and willy-nilly, I was finally forced to take her mink… And we lived in peace and honour until the next winter, when it was cold again and the girl asked me for another mink, so she could have a change.

But now I thought more: well, I’ll get the money, I’ll get her another mink, but what if next year it’s even colder and she wants another mink? So I returned home with my tail between my legs, and my wife, a liar, welcomed me with open arms”, Amza Pellea confessed to Candid Stoica.

In turn, Ioana Pavelescu told about the film in which she acted with Amza Pellea, saying that: “Sergiu Nicolaescu was in a ferment of inspiration, Amza Pellea dominated everything around him with a grace and manliness that can only be seen in great personalities, Gheorghe Dinică was charming, Sandu David with the modesty of a great artist poetically illuminated every frame, and Tiberiu Olah composed music that was the envy of even the most important composers of universal cinema”.

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