This Woman Secretly Dubbed American Movies During the Cold War

Illustration for article titled This Woman Secretly Dubbed American Movies During the Cold War

In the 1980s Irina Margareta Nistor worked as a translator of TV programs in Romania under the Communist regime. But in her spare time she secretly dubbed over 3,000 banned movie titles, all VHS tapes smuggled in from the West. These tapes quickly spread throughout Romania. Nobody knew Nistor's name. But everybody knew her voice.

The New York Times has a fascinating short video about Nistor and how she became a Cold War-era sensation. "We did start to wonder why all the films were dubbed by the same voice," one of the Romanians interviewed in the video recalls. "[Nistor is] the most well known voice in Romania after Ceausescu's," another person says referring to the country's former Communist leader.

Nistor's smuggled and amateurishly translated movies became a window to the outside world — a world closed off by Communist officials. And in the process, she became a Romanian legend.


You can watch the video above or at It really is one you have to watch to appreciate.

Image: Screenshot from the New York Times


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It is little films like this that remind you how very lucky Americans are.