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The Voice of 5,000 Movies

October 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Dubbing illegal films in Communist Romania

Irina Margareta Nistor in conversation with Andrew Collins

A British Library event

In the last years of Communist Romania, Irina Margareta Nistor secretly dubbed all the voices on countless banned movies on VHS tapes, smuggled in from the west. These tapes quickly spread and her voice became one of the best known in the entire country. She talks to broadcaster and film writer Andrew Collins about her remarkable story.

Irina is featured in the documentary Chuck Norris vs Communism, directed by Romanian filmmaker Ilinca Calugareanu and selected for Sundance 2015, and is celebrated in a track by singer songwriter Tom Hickox.

Irina Margareta Nistor worked for Romanian Television from 1980 until 1999, first as a film translator, then as a programme producer. She remains active within the Romanian film industry. In 2012, she launched the Psychoanalysis and Film Festival, headed by psychoanalyst Andrea Sabbadini, an offshoot of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival run by Bernardo Bertolucci. For nine years, she has presented a weekly one hour Sunday program on Radio Guerrilla, The Voice of the Movies, and in 2006, she published a book about her mentor, film critic D I Suchianu. She was an HBO adviser and a member of the screenplay jury of the Romanian National Fund of Cinematography. She has also been the film selector for the DaKINO international film festival.

Andrew Collins is a writer and broadcaster who is currently film editor of Radio Times and presenter of Saturday Night At The Movies on Classic FM. He edited Q and Empire, and co-wrote the sitcoms Grass, with Simon Day, and Not Going Out, with Lee Mack. His latest book is That’s Me in the Corner and first Radio 4 sitcom is Mr Blue Sky.

In association with the Romanian Cultural Institute.

Part of our Season of Sound, the British Library’s annual celebration of all things audio.

Explore The British Library’s sound archive today. You’ll discover over 6.5 million extraordinary recordings covering speech, music, wildlife and the environment.

At the Knowledge Centre of the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB. 

Tickets £13.00 / concessions

Further information on the British Library website

British Library events


October 29
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


British Library
01937 546 546


The British Library
96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB United Kingdom
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