For nearly a decade, Romanian cinema’s masterful reinvention of cinematic realism has been winning accolades at major international film festivals. One current case in point is SIERANEVADA by Christi Puiu, one of the most acclaimed, most formally stringent films in competition in Cannes this year. Telling the story of a family gathering in a Bucharest suburb on the occasion of a funeral, Puiu (THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU) casually renders a complex portrait of the Romanian middle class – with not a single phony script device in sight. Despite a running time of nearly three hours, almost all the action unfolds in a cramped apartment, where emotions quickly boil over, but always with enough room left for moments of comic relief. The (intentionally misleading) title should be taken with a grain of salt: the mountain range in North America does not play a role in this film – Puiu just loves to send his audience down the wrong trail with a whimsical smile.
Mimi Branescu, Judith State, Tatiana Lekel
Anca Puiu, Laurence Clerc, Olivier Thery Lapiney
Christophe Vingtrinier, Jean Paul Bernard
ELLE DRIVER / Paris
66 rue de Miromesnil
Selected filmography Christi Puiu
THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (2005), AURORA (2010), BRIDGES OF SARAJEVO (2014)