Decoding Dacia


The documentary revisits the unresolved question of “Who were the Dacians?” It focuses on the Roman Emperor Trajan’s six-year long two military campaigns against Dacia and its King Decebal between 101 and 106 AD. The documentary is not a literal history but an attempt to link past (who were the Dacians) to the present (what is the legacy) visible in the core regions of the Dacian Kingdom surrounding Sarmizgetusa, its center of power and sanctuary. Dacian Carpathian Mountain fortresses are a UNESCO Heritage Site. The film uses Trajan’s column in Rome, also a UNESCO Heritage Site, and its extensive bas-relief depictions combined with illustrations by artist Radu Oltean and contemporary on-location videography to create an artistic interpretation of the events and to cover on-going archaeological research.



Producer: Dan Dimancescu
Directors: Kyle Brandse
Editor: Kyle Brandse
Illustrations: Radu Oltean
Director of Photography: Nora Agapi
Videographers: Nora Agapi, Kyle Brandse,
Dan Marino, Michael Tran
Script: Dan Dimancescu, Kyle Brandse
Script Support: Dan Weber, Dan Marino, Ronnie Otero
Sound & Music: Michael Tran, Tim Lefort
Visual effects: Kyle Brandse, Dan Marino
3D Modeling: Dan Marino
Editorial Advisors: Cristian Lascu, Domnica Macri
Expert Advisors: Mike Carroll, Cristian Gazdac,
Ion Grumeza, Ernest Latham, Leonard Velcescu
Production Assistance: Alexandra Carlsson,
Elliot Erwin, Frederik Marmann
Legal Counsel: Ramulescu Law Offices


  • National Geographic Magazine
    (Washington-DC, and Romania)


    Examples of substantiive research documents spanning a 150 year period:

  • Radu Oltean – Dacia – The Roman Wars – Vol. 1 – 2013 Purchase
  • Julian Bennett – Trajan
  • Lucian Boia – History & Myth in Romanian Consciousness – 1997
  • Florea Costea – Dacii din Sud-Estul Transilvaniei – 2000
  • W. Froehner – La Colonne Trajane – 1865
  • Ion Grumeza – Dacia – 2009
  • Peter Heather – Empires and Barbarians – 2009
  • Paul McKendrick – The Dacian Stones Speak – 1977
  • James Packer – The Column of Trajan in Rome – 1997
  • Alexandru Simon Stefan – Les Guerres Daciques de Domitien et de Trajan – 2005
  • Leonard Velcescu – Les Daces dans la sculpture romaine – 2010
  • Marguerite Youcenar – Memoirs of Hadrian – 1954