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Friday, August 10, 2012


Award-winning Romanian film, written & helmed by Corneliu Porumboiu, walks in lockstep with a young detective as he pieces together a weak case against a highschool kid who’s been sharing hashish with a couple of friends. Technically, it’s dealing; he could get seven years. So, wouldn’t justice be better served by tracking down his source rather than screwing up three young lives for an infraction that’s not even a crime in the rest of the E.U.? Shot in a handsome minimalist style (you’ll find more edits in the trailer than in the film itself), and with many scenes playing out in ‘real’ time, we’ve got space to mull over police ethics & the glacial pace of change in the post-Soviet environment. This naturalist beat places the film firmly in the art-house category, but the pace is easy to adjust to while the characters constantly surprise us with intellectual depth (the film’s satisfying climax ignores guns & chases for semantics) and there are traces of humor as dark & complex as high-end baking chocolate.

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