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We would like to present you the feature film “Lifelineless man, directed by Adriana Vasilcov, screenplay by Ionel Sporea.
Logline: The invention of the first modern robot for table tennis training turns Ionel Sporea into a star in the world of Romanian sports. A trip to Moscow, however, ends with a harsh sentence: 12 years in prison for treason. Who is to blame: destiny, the Ceausescu regime, or himself?
Lifelineless Man - a drama based on a true story. Ionel Sporea is a table tennis champion, forced to give up sports due to a psychological trauma. As a teenager, he witnessed the rape of two of his 13 and 14-year-old colleagues by their coach, a man in his 40s. As a young man, Ionel invented the first modern robot for table tennis training, becoming a star in the world of sports. Then, his patented robot is copied by various countries, revolutionizing the world of table tennis in just a few years. However, he ends up behind bars for treason, with a harsh sentence: 12 years in Jilava. He is released only after Ceausescu’s death and decides to emigrate to Canada. A few years later he returns to Romania for good, but still finds himself conflicted: does he let go of his painful past or take revenge?
A film that unites Romania with the Republic of Moldova, the former being a historical part of Romania , a love story that withstands the Ceausescu regime, the Soviet Union, other people, thoughts, and deeds. A film about love and its lack, deeply buried traumas, fears, fatalistic confessions… and death itself, from which the protagonist manages to escape miraculously. Wasn’t Ionel born without a lifeline on his palm? Does that mean he shouldn't have been born?
When Ionel Sporea was only 12, he became the national champion in table tennis. The teenager soon decides to give up sports because of a rape he witnessed during a tournament. He goes on to become an engineer and later becomes one of the best workers in the Heavy Machinery Company, Bucharest. However, the protagonist continues to be actively involved with everything related to tennis. He manages to turn the canteen of an industrial high school, a subdivision of the Factory, into the most popular tennis club in Bucharest. A table tennis game in the 80’s turns out to be truly life-changing after Ionel Sporea notices a machine that helps athletes train in a club by throwing balls in one direction. The idea that there could be a modernized robot for table tennis training lingers. Together with another colleague of his, Emil Marian, he manages to create the concept of a multifunctional device. The invention is officially registered at the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks, but during the Ceausescu regime all intellectual rights belong entirely to the state. The invention is adopted in several countries. A trip to Moscow, however, ends with Ionel Sporea imprisoned for 12 years due to the betrayal of his homeland. The character lives through moments of horror with other prisoners accused of murder and rape. Nonetheless, he quickly finds companions who provide him with a sense of security in prison. He manages to escape only after the fall of the Ceausescu regime. Ionel Sporea has to emigrate. He was homeless in Belgium for a while, then emigrated to Canada and became one of the best engineers at General Motors, Rolls Royce, Bridgestone and Paccar. Since the patent was not protected by the Romanian state, several countries copy (steal) his invention and launch similar machines for table tennis training. The thought of being a billionaire today sometimes haunts him. He returned to Romania after 30 years. When invited to a TV show, he makes declarations that no one expects to hear… and confessions that can compromise some key figures, even after thirty years. He returns to Romania with love and resentment - the more he loves his country, the more upset he is with it. Ionel Sporea is a victim of the system in which he was born and raised. Lack of freedom, lack of expression, childhood traumas, abandonment by his mother, and rejection by his father, have been haunting him throughout his life.
Although he is a man with a beautiful mind, he is full of fears, and makes poor decisions. He had a harsh, underprivileged childhood. As an adult, he remains emotionally stuck at the age of 11, even on his birthday, when he learns from his grandmother that his father is not his biological father. For the first time in his life, he begins to understand the value of truth. He understands that the truth causes a lot of pain, and the desire to get rid of this turmoil brings him to suicide. He tries to hang himself at the age of 11, but the universe decides to spare him for the second time. The branch of the tree on which he hangs his rope breaks. It is then that he realizes that there is a specific reason why it’s worth living. Although Ionel Sporea chooses life, he is always on the verge of death, but he never wants it intentionally. Due to his analytical mind he invents the robot that can train athletes to parry ping pong balls. At that moment, he thinks that he has found the explanation why he survived and the reason why he was offered the chance to live. However, it is this invention that immediately forces him to confront another cruel truth. Instead of being given respect and gratitude, the Motherland takes this invention from him, and as a reward, he is sent to prison. He is punished and abandoned again, except this time, he must give up his homeland. The hero is in a desperate fight: he is looking for his place in the world, but is also thirsty for love.
Dozens of women go through Ionel Sporea's bed. He is looking for the ideal woman, the woman who would accept him with all his imperfections. The burning desire to have a woman who belongs to him stems from his lack of maternal love. By possessing female bodies, he tries to compensate for his lack of maternal love, her emotional absence, but also her physical presence - maternal hugs, kisses and caresses, which were completely absent in his childhood. Although he has beautiful women, they are all transient in his life. He thinks all women eventually leave. They all leave him without realizing that he is also the one who rejects them. Ionel is afraid to form emotional attachments in fear of being abandoned. For this reason, he is the one who leaves every time, although he leaves dignified, gallant and with the belief that he has not harmed anyone. Before returning to Romania, he decides to leave the woman with whom he has two children. He abandons his home and children, who are already grown up and settled down in Canada. Ionel returns to Romania to find answers, but also to defend his name.
During his sports career, Ionel Sporea witnesses the shocking number of young athletes who are raped by their coaches. He unconsciously becomes a defender of the rape victims. This desire comes from the need to protect his mother from the one who raped her. Moreover, even at the age of 60, Ionel does not know who his real father is; he suspects that he is also the product of rape. He is in a continuous flight, running from one country to another, from one continent to another, with the desire to find himself, to reunite, but he is pursued by the same feeling of loneliness everywhere, unable to make real relationships. At 60, he admits that he made the wrong choices most of the time, that his decisions were not the healthiest. Only now does he realize and remember a woman, whom he met as a teenager - a beautiful, intelligent Bessarabian woman - who came to visit Romania and seduced him. He understands that he could do more to find her and be with her, but the cowardice and fear of attaching to someone stopped him at the time. He is full of regrets, but understands that it is too late to change. He believes that he loves her and always would. He has been running away all his life, unable to put down roots. In Romania, a gypsy woman tries to read his palm, but she discovers with amazement that he does not have the lifeline on his palm; his skin is smooth, so she cannot read anything in it. Ultimately, Ionel no longer seeks or expects anything, neither from his country nor from life. He begins to reconcile with his destiny, even if it is difficult for him to forgive his mother, his father, and - most of all - himself.
Back in Romania, he is hunted by journalists who want to interview him, hoping for shocking revelations and accusations against the authorities. However, Ionel does not throw insults and tries to respond with dignity whenever he is provoked by journalists. The hero calms his heart when he finds out that one of the teenage girls he helped escape from rape has rebuilt her life, even though she abandoned her sports career. He understands that perhaps this was one of the purposes for which he survived when his mother decided not to drown him in the river. But there is no way for him to know the truth of his existence, so he continues to ask questions and look for existential answers.
He is the lifelineless man, but he changes the lives of countless people, even if, most of the time, they are not connected in any rational way.
The feature film "The Lifelineless Man" is based on the existential problem of finding your true self.
The basic concepts that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry develops in a unique style in The Little Prince include sincerity, faith, purity, imagination, and self-consciousness. It all starts with a snake swallowing an elephant. The protagonist Ionel Sporea lives with the fear of being trapped and swallowed up by his loved ones.
Thanks to you, our dream will come true!
Thank you! We'll give you access to the film crew's making off album.
We'll send you a T-shirt! Together we reach the highest peaks
We offer you an invitation on the set. You choose the day and time. If you live abroad, the director will personally call you to tell you what wonderful things you have done
You are our guest of honor at the premiere of the film, but also of other events
- Andriana Vasilcov
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