Ever since Cristi Puiu’s The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) landed in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, the tricolour vertical stripes of blue, yellow and red of Romanian have been a mainstay on the Croisette, and this year the tradition continues.
Since 2009 we’ve seen Corneliu Porumboiu’s Police, Adjective (which won the Un Certain Regard – Jury Prize), the short film collaborative Tales from the Golden Age from Mungiu, Hanno Höfer, Constantin Popescu and Ioana Uricaru. 2010 gave us Cristi Puiu’s Aurora and Radu Muntean’s Tuesday, After Christmas, both in the Un Certain Regard section, while The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu by Andrei Ujică was shown out of competition. Last year, Cătălin Mitulescu’s Loverboy was the only Romanian film screened at the festival, again in the Un Certain Regard section.
Cristian Mungiu, who received the Palme d’Or winner back in 2007 for his 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, returns with Beyond the Hills. The film follows the story of two girls who were raised together in the same orphanage and now they meet again after a few years. Alina returns from Germany and reunites with her childhood friend, Voichiţa. Voichiţa dedicated her life to God and now lives in an Orthodox monastery. She found herself a family with the nuns there and turns down Alina’s request to come back with her to Germany.
Alina is played by Cristina Flutur and Voichiţa by Cosmina Stratan, both being at their very first feature film. The screenplay was written by Mungiu inspired by non-fiction novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran. Beyond the Hills is produced by Romanian company Mobra Films, with Why Not Productions (France), Les Films du Fleuve (Belgium), France 3 Cinema and Mandragora Movies (Romania) as co-producers. The international rights are handled by Wild Bunch, while in this spring Sundance Selects acquired the North-American rights.
Joining Mungiu, we have Cristi Iftime’s The Camp in Razoare will be competing in Cinefondation section. The Camp in Razoare is a 22-minute short-film, a coming-of-age story about two teen-agers who fall in love during a trip to the mountains. The leads are played by Alex Potocean and Lorena Zăbrăuţanu, while Dan Aştilean, Lucian Iftime and Andrei Şerban complete the cast. This is Iftime’s first selection for Cannes.
Adina Pintilie will go to Cannes with her first feature film (more of a project right now) being selected for the Cinefondation L’Atelier section. Her project is titled Nu mă atinge-mă/Touch Me Not and follows three people – a woman and two men – in search for intimacy and human contact.
In the just announced Critics’ Week section, Paul Negoescu’s short film Horizon, tells a fisherman’s tale of another sort - a fisherman questions what if a fisherman mysteriously disappears into the depths of the Black Sea with no one to hear it, does it make noise?
Credit photo: Mobra Films