Events, Toronto

Le beau danger #TIFF14 | SEP 10 & 14

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2014 is screening “Le beau danger” (Germany 2014), a documentary about internationally acclaimed Romanian author Norman Manea, directed by the German director René Frölke, as part of the Wavelengths programme.

Le beau danger (Germany 2014)
Director(s): René Frölke
Language: English/Italian/Romanian/French


Taking its title from a short text by Michel Foucault, this innovative portrait of internationally acclaimed Romanian author Norman Manea provocatively explores the interplay and interstices between public persona, the act of creation, lived experience and representation.

“In the end, the only real homeland, the only ground upon which we can walk, the only house where we can stop and take shelter, is language itself, the language we learned from childhood.” — Michel Foucault

A film of haunting, complex beauty and contemporary resonance, René Frölke’s portrait of internationally celebrated, Bucovina-born author Norman Manea — who survived the Nazi concentration camps and subsequently emigrated to the West from Ceausescu’s Romania in 1986 — is a rich and deeply moving essay about exile, language, and the weight of history in an increasingly amnesiac world. Recounting Manea’s eventful biography in fragments as it chronicles the author making the rounds of literary festivals and seminars, Le beau danger provocatively explores the interplay and interstices between public persona, the act of creation, lived experience, and representation. Physically embedding one of Manea’s short stories in the film via intertitles, Frölke compels the viewer to read the author with their own inner voice, adding yet another disjuncture to Manea’s already split existence: between pre- and postwar, Communism and democracy, text and body.

Mixing colour digital images with febrile black-and-white 16mm footage, Le beau danger borrows its title from a published encounter between Michel Foucault and art critic Claude Bonnefoy, in which the former movingly exposes the writer-thinker’s vulnerability and isolation, locating in language the sole source of rootedness in an endlessly mutable world. Grappling with the question of how to narrate the biography of an artist whose work is largely autobiographical while dissecting the ironies of our consumption of culture, Frölke invites us to consider the act of reading as an act of presence, an assertion of being at a time when the mass media has become disturbingly unsympathetic to contemporary existence — and to memory itself.


Norman Manea

Norman Manea is a Jewish Romanian writer and author of short fiction, novels, and essays about the Holocaust, daily life in a communist state, and exile. He lives in the United States, where he is the Francis Flournoy Professor of European Culture and writer in residence at Bard College. Manea’s most acclaimed book, The Hooligan’s Return (2003), is an original novelistic memoir, encompassing a period of almost 80 years, from the pre-war period, through the Second World War, the communist and post-communist years to the present. Manea has been known and praised as an international important writer since early 1990s, and his works have been translated into more than 20 languages. He has received more than 20 awards and honors. (




  • Wednesday September 10, 2:30 PM @ AGO Jackman Hall (317 Dundas Street West, Toronto)
  • Sunday September 14, 11:30 PM @ Scotiabank Theatre Scotiabank 7 (259 Richmond Street West, Toronto)


Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) – September 4-14, 2014

The Toronto International Film Festival is the leading public film festival in the world, screening more than 300 films from 60+ countries every September. Our programmers have earned a reputation for excellence, and a diverse array of films are shown: Hollywood galas, complete with red carpet glamour; the best in international cinema, the latest homegrown comedies… and everything in between. Our films are divided into Programmes to help guide your choices. Love horror flicks? Check out Midnight Madness! Feeling edgy? Try Vanguard. Need a mini stay-cation? Contemporary World Cinema may be for you.

More information at or 416.599.TIFF