November 13, 2016 · Knoxville Museum of Art · 2:00 p.m.
The American soap opera Dallas becomes a hit in 1980s Romania, providing a rare window to the West for viewers living under a brutal communist regime. Among those watching are Ilie and his daughter Livia. He’s a small-time criminal who craves the lavish lifestyle he sees on TV; she’s in love with Dallas hunk Patrick Duffy. After communism falls, Ilie builds the Hotel Dallas, a replica of the show’s mansion. Livia, now a filmmaker, recruits Duffy to star in a bizarre Romanian version of Dallas, haunted by the ghosts of the country’s past.
This surreal mix of fiction and documentary premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
“Potently pioneering … [a] wondrous work of art.” — The Huffington Post
“A combination of documentary, unstuck-in-time fantasy, and children’s theater … [a] uniquely skewed artistic vision … The effect is mesmerizing.” — Baltimore Sun
“Through the lens of a family whose ups and downs dovetail with the Ewings in some unexpected ways, Hotel Dallas doesn’t reflect American entertainment as much as it refracts it, reveling in its own unclassifiable spirit.” — Indiewire
About the Filmmakers
Filmmakers will attend
Ungur & Huang is wife-and-husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang. Ungur is from Romania; Huang grew up in Knoxville and attended Webb. Based in NYC, they make films, as well as sculptures and installations. Their 2015 short film Prodigal premiered at the Black Maria Film Festival, screened at the National Gallery of Art in D.C., and won festival jury awards at Montreal Underground, FIVA, and Leiria. Their next film, the feature Hotel Dallas, premiered at the 2016 Berlinale; they were included in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016.” Their work has been made possible by grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and Yale School of Art.