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Special Features Include:
-New transfer, enhanced for widescreen viewing
-Optional English subtitles
-Collectible 8-page press booklet
-Original theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
The plot is strikingly simple. A young cop (the impressive Dragos Bucur) is assigned to tail a high school student who is suspected of dealing drugs. Most of the movie highlights an isolated Bucur as he watches his target from afar. There is clearly no evidence of dealing, the kid shares an occasional marijuana cigarette with his after school friends but is doing nothing of a nefarious nature. Pushed to make a case, Bucur is resistant. He believes that marijuana will soon be legalized and busting this kid would ruin his life to no purpose. On his own initiative, he attempts to divert attention to more worthy targets but encounters apathy, procedure, and indifference every step of the way. The frustration is palpable as there exist no way to personalize the decidedly institutional department.Read more ›
This has a very basic plot in that a cop is assigned a case to target a drug dealer. He spends weeks watching him and staking out his house etc. He then files his report arguing for leniency as the law on drugs is so Draconian. His bosses take a more traditional police approach and he has a crisis of conscience. That is neither a plot spoiler or too short a synopsis as this is a basic film examining conscience. It is not a crime thriller or an action movie, despite having a gun on the cover, the dictionary it lies on is a better representation of this film.
Set in post Stalinist Romania, the settings are all bleak, rotting concrete and badly made roads, which add to the cold feel of the film. There is very little colour too so that when something bright -like a blue bucket- appears on screen I was immediately drawn to it. Whether that is intentional or a reflection on the greyness of the city is unclear.
There is also no background music at all, this adds to the feeling that time is passing slowly and there are many such devices which seem to heighten the mundanity of his job.
This film has many layers but you will have to dig to get them and at 113 minutes running time does seem overly long. However, when it gets moving, things change fairly rapidly. One of the things I love about World Cinema is the different approaches to film making from say Hollywood, but there are downsides too and this film for me required some effort. It felt a bit Kafkaesque so if that is your thing I am sure you will like this presentation from Artificial Eye.
It's a simple police procedural film, with none of the hype or glamour or intrigue of even the simplest television cop show. There are no car chases, no shoot outs, no rapid fire montages of strip clubs and shady deals. The most dangerous weapon wielded in the climactic showdown is a dictionary. Still, under the masterful direction of Corneliu Porumboiu (12:08 East of Bucharest), this simple and deliberately paced film becomes a quite profound and subtle meditation on the meaning of conscience in a world regulated by law, and on the essence of language. While stylistically more direct, the approach of this film and its simple profundity reminded me of the best episodes in Krysztof Kieslowski's remarkable The Decalogue series. Highly recommended for patient lovers of great cinema.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent film about moral choices, slow-working bureaucracy, and individual conscience by a talented, intelligent young director. Loved it!Published on May 13, 2014 by MEF
No shots fired, no SWAT teams. Grubby desks, bureaucracy and zero lenience. I would've compared this movie to "The Wire" series. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Eddie O'verthere
I cannot comment on how this movie turns out as I shut it down after 40 minutes, before a lethal attack of ennui drove me into the throes of certain death. Read morePublished on May 25, 2012 by THE KING OF PANGAEA
This is a special film that will certainly put off a large number of main-stream viewers.
It asks that you change the way you view a film - not dramatically, but... Read more
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