A Gypsy slave has run away from his Romanian master circa 1835; a constable (Teodor Corban) and his slow-witted son (Mihai Comanoiu) are hired to find him and bring him back. The duo heads out across the Ottoman Empire, encountering everyone from anti-Semitic holy men to trash-talking merchants (“May you be three days away from death, including yesterday!”). When they find the lad and return him to his “owner,” things take an unexpected turn. Part Eastern-European Western and part Jarmusch road movie, Radu Jude’s gorgeous black-and-white opus—
Romania’s Best Foreign Language Oscar® contender—
proves that the Romanian New Wave has not yet fully crested. Unlike the intimate post-Ceausescu dramas that have made the country a world-cinema hotspot, this old-school epic plays out on a huge historical canvas. But like those socially conscious contemporary classics, Jude’s exploration of the distant past offers a biting commentary on the here and now.
Co-presented by Romanian Film Festival