The Whistlers (La Gomera)



Sequoia 2 Sat, Oct 5, 2019 1:45 PM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:97 min.
Director:Corneliu Porumboiu
Producer:Marcela Mindru Ursu
Patricia Poienaru
Screenwriter:Corneliu Porumboiu
Cinematographer:Tudor Mircea
Editor:Roxana Szel
Cast:Vlad Ivanov
Catrinel Marlon
Rodica Lazar
Agustí Villaronga
Sabin Tambrea
Print Source:Magnolia Pictures
Note Writer:Tim Grierson


One of the pillars of the Romanian New Wave, Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective) is known for his somber, wry studies of human nature, but none of his previous features will fully prepare you for The Whistlers, a sleek and exhilarating thriller that pays homage to the escapist spirit of Hollywood’s yesteryear. Veteran character actor Vlad Ivanov (Snowpiercer) gives a standout performance as Cristi, an undercover cop who’s infiltrated the local mob. The plot revolves around Cristi’s ability to learn an obscure, bizarre whistling language—an unbreakable code that crooks use to pass information around law enforcement—which adds an unexpectedly delightful running joke to what is otherwise a complex, sexy tale full of double-crosses, showdowns, and powerful seductions. Setting aside the bristling political commentary that has been the bedrock of recent Romanian masterpieces, Porumboiu isn’t slumming; rather, he’s crafted a stunningly smart genre exercise that’s just as attuned to people’s fears and desires as his superb earlier work.

Thank you to our Community Partner the Romanian Community Center of Sacramento!

Sponsored by:

Additional Information

Corneliu Porumboiu was born in Vaslui, Romania, and studied directing at the National University of Drama and Film in Bucharest. He made his feature debut with 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006), which won the Golden Camera at the Cannes Film Festival. His other films include Police, Adjective (2009), When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism (2013), and The Treasure (2015).