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February 9, 2023

“Child’s Pose” and “The Forest of the Hanged” at Karlovy Vary

The two Romanian films, directed by Calin Peter Netzer  and Liviu Ciulei respectively, will be screened in the Out of the Past and Horizons, sections respectively of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, June 28-July 6,  the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR) announced.
“The Forest of the Hanged” is the film adaptation of the eponymous novel by Liviu Rebreanu, the first psychological novel in the Romanian literature. The novel was inspired by the true-life story of Emil Rebreanu, the writer’s brother, who served as an NCO in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I and was hanged at Ghimes, May  14, 1917, having tried to desert to the enemy. While Serban Cantacuzino was the original choice for the role, he only shot a few scenes and was replaced by Victor Rebengiuc. The film, which won Best Director Award at Cannes 1965, is regarded a pinnacle in Romanian cinema and the zenith of Ciulei’s brief film directorial career.
“Child’s Pose”, the other Romanian film to be shown at Karlovy Vary, is a heart-felt and humorous story about the relationship between a domineering mother, played by Luminita Gheorghiu, and her grownup son. The film is also an X-ray of Romania’s new rich, tackling influence peddling and petty corruption in state institutions and their extensions to the entire socio-economic system in today’s Romania. The film received the Golden Bear Award at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
However, those are not the only Romanian films to be projected at the festival. “At the Bottom of the Sky”, a Romania-Moldova film co-production shown for the first time worldwide at Karlovy Vary, in the East of the West section. The film tells the story of Viorel, a teenager who lives with his mother in a Moldovan town. He has neither great ambitions, nor great hops and makes a living from illegal activities. Corneliu Porumboiu is the screenwriter and Igor Cobileanski, the film’s director. “As You Like It” is a documentary presenting an ageing community whose only concern is to take personal snapshots for their tombstones.
“Mood Indigo”, Michel Gondry’s film adaptation of Boris Vian’s novel “Foam of the Daze”, will open the Karlovy Vary Festival.

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