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The World According to Ion B. (2009)

Lumea văzută de Ion B. (2009)

60 min. - Documentary - AG - 18.12.2009

Synopsis: The film depicts the dream of a man living on the streets: to one day become famous and leave behind a life of poverty, misery and humiliation. The title character, Ion Barladeanu, is on his way to becoming an important contemporary artist, but in May 2008 he was still anonymous and living homeless on the streets of Bucharest.

Director: Alexander Nanau

Writer: Alexander Nanau

Stars: Ion Bârlădeanu, Dan Popescu

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The World According to Ion B. (2009) Ion Bârlădeanu Artist Ion B
The World According to Ion B. (2009) Dan Popescu Art gallery owner
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Produced By

HBO România
Alexander Nanau Productions
Cu sprijinul Millenium Bank şi Aristoteles Workshop

Production info

59 days of shotting, between april 2008 - june 2009.


HBO România

Festivals, Awards

  1. 2010 - Emmy - Emmy International - Arts Programming
    2010 - Gopo - Best documentary
    2010 - Kosovo - Cel mai bun documentar balcanic
    2010 - Amsterdam - 3rd place
    2011 - Yerevan - Best documentary


A homeless man in his sixties has lived for years on a mattress among the bins in the courtyard of a Bucharest apartment building. His name is Ion Barladeanu and he is currently one of the most sought-after modern Romanian artists. In an old suitcase, he has stashed his brilliant collages, which were displayed at an exhibition in London in 2009, right beside the work of Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp. A year later, he had a solo exhibition dedicated to his work in Paris. Without the help of gallery owner Dan Popescu, however, Ion Barladeanu's fairytale progression from the streets of Bucharest to prestigious international galleries would have been unthinkable. Alexander Nanau's sensitive portrait introduces us to a man whose difficult journey through life has seen him hit rock bottom. Nonetheless, he is also a distinctive artist, who manages to mock human pettiness and the cruelty of the Ceausescu regime in collages steeped in irony.


Alexander Nanau on the film:
„At first, I was impressed with the cinema quality of Ion Bârlădeanu's work. When I heard the story of his life, I decided to explore the personality and work of this artist, who refined himself though living in an underground world, in a totalitarian regime. Furthermore, I have always been fascinated with people who at the edge of society, who live their life above conventions and conveniences, and who, more often than not, become creators of critical discourses – the cynics, the eccentrics."

The World According to Ion B. (2009) - Photo