“Hotel Dallas” by Sherng-Lee Huang & Liv Ungur
In the 80s, in the twilight of communist Romania, “Dallas” is the only American show allowed on TV. Its vision of wealth and glamour captures the imagination of millions. Among them are Ilie and his daughter Livia. He is a smalltime criminal and aspiring capitalist; she is in love with the show’s handsome leading man, Patrick Duffy. After communism falls, Ilie builds the Hotel Dallas, a life-size copy of the “Dallas” mansion. Livia immigrates to America, becomes a filmmaker, and directs a movie starring Patrick Duffy, as a soap opera character who dies in Texas and wakes up in Romania, in a hotel that looks just like home.
Livia guides her childhood idol on a genre-bending road trip across a Romanian dreamscape—along the border of fiction and documentary, through the failed utopias of communism and capitalism, and into a realm of ghosts and lost time.