Crulic - The Path to Beyond (2011) - full transcript

While being in Poland, Romanian Claudio Crulic is wrongly accused of theft. In jail he goes on a hunger strike.

Everything could
start with a phone call

The one that presents himself as
the consule of Romania in Warsaw

Asks my uncle Corneliu Rudescu, to
confirm his kinship with Claudiu CRULIC,

Which is me.

Afterwards he tells
him, that I am dead.

And if he can't pick my
body home with 2500 euros,

My body will be burnt.

And the consulate can't
help bringing my body home.

On the 4th of February, my mother
and my sister come to Cracow,

They haven't seen me for a few months

Which is not the reason
that she cant identify me.

The truth is that in a few
months Ive changed a lot.

First of all I am dead.

Second is that I have
lost some 30 kilos,

Except the fact that I'm blocked on 33
years old, I look like 70 to say the least.

Prior to the identification,

Thank God that I still have
marks after the surgery,

Mom and sis got my
body and my suitcase.

One kettle boiler,

One cup,

One wallet,

cigarette papers,

My lucky one dollar bill,

Some polish money,

Some icons and some prayer books,

My news notebook and
some letter scarps,

One pen,

One photo camera,

My two phones,

The shoes and the slippers,

The shirt,

The track-suit and the jacket.

I have a new passport,

That of a dead man.

Because of it I'm in transit,

You heard me, I'm in transit,

Without nobody asking me anything.

Poland, Slovacia, and Hungary,

in a Mercedes.

Mom and sis arranged
for this transport,

with a mortuary firm in Poland.

I never in my life ride
such a car but I do now.

Sort of speak "ride". I stay still.

In my one room flat and
I don't feel anything.


- The path Beyond

If I think better,

my life could fit
into some 100 pictures.

First picture was take to me
into the hospital in Dorohoi.

I was born on 18 of march 1975.

My father Constantin
was an accountant,

And my mother Statrica a bartender.

The family that I've
joined 33 years ago,

was one usual Romanian family.

Poor and with lots of members.

From all the ancestors
by my fathers side,

Iancu and Carlina CRULIC
were most particular.

They came from Poland
and settled into Dorohoi

Which was just a little town, only
bigger than a Moldavian village.

When I was born my parents were
engaged for 2 or 3 years and

They were bored with love and life..

They stayed together 2 years more,

And then, divorced.

After the divorced I
stayed with my father,

But actually his
sisters took care of me,

Some of my aunts.

I haven't had much of
a family truly speaking,

With mother, father, brothers,
sisters and grandparents,

Doggie and piggie.

My closest relationship
until I was 5,

was with a baby's dummy.

I couldn't let her go.

This is how I entered the world.

Daniel CRULIC, future
mortuary passport 007.

As an infant, they called me Boby,

as that guy from that movie, "One
flower and two gardners" (India 1969).

The most Ive stayed
with my aunt losefina,

The richest of all the sisters.

I was running between the houses
of my aunts and of my fathers.

I remember the animals,

One mink and two dogs, Vem and Lesli.

My neighbors poisoned Lesli,

because she ate some chickens.

And Vem died of old age.

It was so old that he
couldn't walk anymore,

He couldn't event chew anymore,

I was mashing all his
food, he got so weak..

My heart was broken and I
couldn't be apart from him.

But I never wanted a dog
anymore after he died.

My heart was broken only when
I thought about him dying.

In the summer, I also
went to my aunt Lelia,

Cousin Carmen is my favourite,

She was always besides me.

Hello this and Hello that..

I greeted all the ladies.

Like in that joke, wait for
all the cars to pass by...

My folks were kidding, that I
say hello to all the stupid ladies.

My life its like riding a bus,

I get on the bus, it starts,

I arrive, get down,

I'm staying for a couple of
days and then I start again.

You couldn't say that I was very
different from children my age.

They made me a Patriot
Child at Marasesti Mausoleum,

Afterwards I went
to camp at Salt Lake,

played football..

This you won't like, I didn't
pass my 2nd grade highschool,

I only got to the 10th class,

My family wanted a rich
boy not a scientist.

When I finished school, Conu
Barbu took me to his garrage,

To fix and unfix this and that.

Mechanics.. tin-woks..

Changing the oil..

Black market work,
but it was still a job.

I was a hard worker though.

I was earning my living..

Yes please.

As like a child, they were kidding me because
I answered the phone like.."Yes Please!"

But this was a custom to
me, this is how I said it.

On '93 I went to
Poland with my uncle,

I brought luxury items for
rich people and what not..


Glass plates,

Bohemian crystal,


On that time we also went to Russia,

We brought to Dorohoi marker
everything we can carry,

Door handle,

Hair paint bottles,


laundry cleaner,




dried fish,

underwear, bolts,

Into the 90's Romanians
bought anything,

With the only criteria,
not to be made in Romania.

My cousin Carmen sell the stuff,
she knew better of this things.

I stayed with her
children, with my nephews.

I always liked the children.

To play with them,

To play with their belly,

Coz when I was a child I
couldn't stay with my mom.

And remember that I liked feeding bottles,
I was sucking milk with all the children.

But things got bad in Romania.

People were not so rich suddenly,

And Hair paint you could buy here too
not to worry that you could go bald.

As soon as I got to Poland I
started searching for a job.

It wasn't easy.

Who would hire a poor Romanian?

I was also called Rabbit.

For this is what
CRULIC means in polish.

I was lucky coz I knew the
language and was good with cars.

I liked it.

So I got some jobs in car
washing and car repair shops.

You could see in the photo, Razvanek.

I called him uncle.

We were not related
but we were like family.

We cooked together, live together,

He got handicap pension, for
one time he jumped from a window,

And from then on he
was short of a leg

He liked to drink 1l liquor.

He had many hats
and played the piano.

The uncle was ok.

He's not living anymore too.
Suicided a fews months after my death.

I stayed with him for some time..

A girl.. Lica, was my girlfriend.

She was 10 years younger than me.

We knew each other from Botosani.

We even had a baby together. A boy.

I couldn't enjoy him though..

Died at birth..

We burried him in Cracow...

And Lica disappeared after my death.

In the 2000.. I almost died there..

Eventually I died after
all, this is another story,

I was in a car with a friend,

We had an accident, he died
and I flew through the window.

Doctors were amazed
of me still living.

They only got a
metal thing in my leg.

Meanwhile my folks moved too

They got the idea that
Romanian life was not ok,

They got to Italy,

Mom and Cati to Torino,

My father somewhere near Milan,

Whenever I went back,
went and see them,

For we barely see each other anymore, only
at funerals or weddings back into Romania.

This is my sis Caty,
from my mother side.

She was born after the divorce.

These are the only pictures with her.

This is back in Botosani, on
the last summer of my life.

Back into Dorohoi nowadays you don't
see families without "strawberry people"

(people that work on the
strawberry farms mainly in Spain)

Really now, there's
nothing to do back there.

Take for example my aunt,
losefina.That raised me since I was 3.

Some 1 year ago, I got her
a teddy bear, really nice.

As soon as I go back, she covers the teddy
bear in plastic bags, like meat packs.

Not to get dusty..

And I'm thinking that she or my uncle
don't understand how it is to be poor.

They were rich people.

I wanted to ask you something.

When you took your last pictures, you ever
think that they could really be your last ones?

The last time I took a
picture, I was into Italy,

It was July and I just
had my 30'st birthday.

They were found by my mom and
sis when they opened the suitcase,

That they got on my identification.

This is the 99 photo,

There's one more.

When you look back at
your childhood places,

Do you ever think that it could
be the last time you see them?

Back in 2007, into the summer,

I were accused of theft.

They got me 8 months arrested.

From may 2007 till January 2008.

Then I got released and
they prosecuted me on parole.

When I came back to Romania, many
told me not to get back to Poland,

But I wasn't supposed to hide
for a deed that I didn't do.

I never thought that it could be
something else than a simple mistake.

In fact I only had to wait for them
to look on the surveillance cameras,

And see that I'm not the gypsy
that that seller described.

When I left Dorohoi again,

I never thought that it
will be the last time.

I never thought it will be like
this..I was pretty optimistic.

But when I got into the car,
I don't know what got into me,

I started crying. All of the sudden.

First I thought that the
trial will be quick and easy,

But the things got
so messed up that...

I was with Lica on the hallway, and 3
policeman dressed in civilian came to us.

They photographed Lica
with a mobile phone,

And threatened us that if we
appeal they arrest us again.

Really now, do you
think this is normal?

I also threatened them that I'll call
the embassy but I was kind of scared.

Who could represent me, a Romanian, in this
country where I'm a stranger from everyone.

Who the hell could
get me out of here?

It was like I was
talking to the walls.

I even texted my sister, that I'm
in danger, and to alert the press.

And not to tell my mother.

But my smart-ass sis. maybe
thought I was drunk or something..

She didn't do anything. She only said to
an ex-girlfriend of mine, in a coffee shop.

When one is out of luck..
then.. nobody could save him..

We were into the
kitchen, preparing a meal,

I was very surprised when 3
police men came in suddenly.

Until we realised who's who..

They had us handcuffs, threw us into
the cars, and off to the police we went.

Just like that I had
another burglary on my head.

They just humiliate you so
much if you get in their hands,

And on the first
mistake, you're lost.

They were the same men from the
same morning, at the courthouse.

And started laughing at us.

"What? Smart ones? You
called the embassy?"

They asked for my foot size..

They measured me, weight me,

And also got some saliva
sample, like when you steal,

You steal with your
mouth not with your hand.

And all this time, I was assaulted

With questions, over questions,

threats... warnings...

sign here, write this
declaration..admit this, do that..

They got me so confused and dizzy.

When I was asked what I
was doing on the July 11,

I told them I was in Cracow,
preparing to go to Italy and see Lica,

She sent me some money and I was
wondering to the banks and exchange it.

But after when I realized that on the
11th of July was already into Italy,

It was too late. Nobody heard me.

They confiscated me all the cash.

600 zlots.. 110 euros.. plus
my one dollar lucky bill.

If someone would tell me before that
my life would fit into a suitcase,

I would for sure laughed at him..

But.. all of the sudden.. they took me
by surprise..Only with what I had on,

1 pair of snickers,

My sport suit, and my jacket.

I had one hope on the police,
that it was a transit day,

They sent me to Mote Ludwig,
for at least 3 months.

If you see the Mote Ludwig
jail, it seems like a SPA.

I've been there for another
trial, and was kinda scary.

I was planning to stay awake.

I spoke to no one in my
cell, I had to protest.

Went on hunger strike on the 1st day.

Also made myself a calendar with
months remaining until my release.

I knew what arrested
means. Just sit and wait..

Sort of speaking.. that
you are actually staying..

In 3 months I've been in 8
cells and 3 hospital beds.

The administration and the
inmates try to get you insane.

I was sleeping only with my hood on.

On the 14th of September, wrote the 1st
letter. It was for the investigations director.

Told him that I'm not guilty and
that I'm going into hunger strike.

The next letter was for the
Cracow Investigations team,

And had all the dates well
accountable in my mind.

On the 21st of June, I
arrived alone into Poland,

Lica was in Italy where
we were supposed to meet.

One day before the burglary, on the
10th of July I went for Italy again,

And went back to Poland
on 2nd of September.

All this was mentioned in the letter
I sent to the Investigation team.

And also mentioned that I'm in hunger
strike since the 10th of September.

Then I wrote to the
consule of Romania,

telling him that my rights were
broken and pleaded for help.

I made a list with all the things
going wrong in the investigation,

and all that seemed
to me to be an abuse.

I also mentioned the incident with the "photo
shooting" on me and Lica on the hallways on the court.

And that I was afraid
for my poor health.

I also mentioned that I want to
see a clerk from the consulate,

and asked him to change my
arrest from Poland to Romania.

Also to change my appointed lawyer.

Yet I got no answer...

After a while I wrote another memo,
writing and writing some more..

This was helping me to keep my minds.

As soon as I got a page without
corrections, off to the post with it!

I always told them that I refuse
to eat from the 10th of September.

On the 12 of October,
they got me to the shrink.

I also went on 24th of October,
13th of November and on 3 of January.

I kept writing, being afraid not
to forget anything, and was afraid,

because of my hunger strike my brain would
go weak, and begin to messed up the dates.

On the 12th of October, I
refused to speak polish no more.

I refused their language.

I couldn't understand all that the doctors
were saying and on my first wrong answer they

Could declare me a
schizophrenic and drug me.

After the 12 of October, they decided that I don't
need psychiatric help, and that I'm not suicidal.

They tried to make
me eat coz I was weak.

I had only 53 kg.

They realised that I'm not just
showing off by hunger strike.

On the 25 of October, I got
hospitalized in the prisons clinic.

They had me here for 3 weeks.

If I haven't had a calendar not to forget when
is the date of my trial, then I was finished.

But anyway, I was
finished after all...

At least I did all that I could.

Gazing through the window.. I remembered
many things since I was a child..


It was like a beautiful dream

But I always kept writing my stuff.

If I started to forget...was bad

On the 15 of November, they
had me back into the cell.

Five days after, another
cell..another bed..different faces..

Guess nobody from the embassy bothered to read my letters. With
all my arguments that I wasn't in Poland at the time of the robbery.

On the 22 of November, I
refused to move..or I couldn't..

They started to fear my situation..

Even the warden came by.

They had me moved into another cell.

On the 23 of November, the prosecutor
came by and Frederick her translator.

Frederick was looking at me like I was a ghost or
something...he told me that I was unrecognizable.

Yet the had me interrogated.

And told them once
again Lound and clear.

On the 7th of July i picked up the
money that Lica sent, on the 9th of July

I went to the travel agency to book the trip,
on the 10th of July I was in the bus for Italy,

And on the robbery that
July the 11th I was in Milan.

I kept on saying that I'm on hunger strike
for 2 months now, because I'm not guilty.

I kept on hoping that the travel agency would
confirm my statement and was pretty confident,

that they will free me.

Anyway the 3 months term was off.

But they had me move to another cell.

I got at last the answer from the embassy.
Yet it was sent from October, I only had it,

on the 31st of November. I
wrote everything in my notebook.

I was at sleep, but a different kind
of sleep... seeing and hearing...