In 19th-century southern Romania, a policeman and his son search for a fugitive. Radu Jude’s (Shadow of a Cloud) third and most ambitious film to date is a captivating road movie that employs the conventions of the Western to unfold an eastern tale of gypsy slavery. Based on a little-talked-about moment in Romania’s past, the story is told with remarkable fluidity, gorgeous and crisp black-and-white photography, juicy archaic-sounding language, a perfect sense of location, and great attention to period detail. This unorthodox answer to 12 Years a Slave earned a directing prize in Berlin and represented Romania in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. Variety called it an exceptional, deeply intelligent gaze into a key historical period, done with wit as well as anger.
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