7 (Seven) Words Film
Directed by Andrei Negoita
Seven Words is the story of a man who spent 21 years behind bars, fighting for his beliefs. Born in between the two World Wars, Fr. Gheorghe Calciu began as a medical student in Bucharest, Romania, and was first arrested in 1948 at the age of 23—found guilty of loving his country and opposing the new communist regime.
For 16 years he passed through a series of experiences at the limits of human endurance, “re-educated” in the harshest communist prisons in Romania, ones known for exterminating any opposition to the system. He was confined in Pitesti prison, then sent to the Gherla penitentiary, then “the tomb of death” in Jilava, and finally the enticements of Aiud.
He was released from prison into a country suffering a reign of terror by the Securitate secret police. Yet he proved that the re-education didn’t break him; continuing his mission, he decided to become a priest.
Fr. Gheorghe spoke boldly against the system, addressing to the youth of Romania in a series of seven homilies. The fame of these messages spread, and they became known as the Seven Words. In them he urged the younger generation to free themselves from communist enslavement. Due to these messages he was arrested again, in 1978, and sentenced to death. Thanks to pressure from US President Ronald Reagan and other supporters, he was freed and exiled from his native country to the United States of America.
Fr. Gheorghe’s destiny led him through a series of descents into an inferno of evil; yet by means of his brave self-sacrifice he ascended the Mount of Transfiguration.
In this lively, artistic documentary, dozens of people who knew Fr. Gheorghe testify to his life, recalling memories of events humorous, tragic, and terrifying.
Zone 1 DVD
Biography: Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa (1925–2006) was a Romanian priest and dissident. He served 21 years in prison during the Communist regime. He was first imprisoned in 1948, but claimed his 1978 imprisonment was harsher. He had criticized Nicolae Ceauşescu's repressions and became seen as an "enemy of the state". Reportedly he suffered beatings and harassment in prison. He was released from prison due in part to pressure from supporters such as Ronald Reagan. He spent years in exile in Virginia and ultimately settled there permanently. In the mid-1980s he preached on the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.
He was interred at the Petru Vodă Monastery in Poiana Teiului Commune, Neamţ County, Romania.