Ancient kings and medieval princes, Dracula's blood-kin, have had starring roles on the Romanian big screen ever since the early 1960s.
They all give insight into the kind of past enshrined by the epic spectaculars of the former communist regime.
As such, the monster from the East, Vlad the Impaler, emerges from combat as a hero warrior rather than a loathsome bloodsucker.
This and other iconic characters celebrate a shared sense of belonging, while all of their actions are conducive to the public good.
On film, the greater good of your people is the stuff of history.
The past decade has seen the little men of modern Romania take to the limelight.
This time, the villain from the East is the go-getter, the swindler, and the bad loser. The way the historical genre has developed in Romania provides background on both audience reception and the politics of re-enactment in popular cinema.
This is the first time that English-speaking readers have gained access to a comprehensive selection of fiction films set in the Romanian past.