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June 27, 2022

The film “Why Me?” by Tudor Giurgiu in Romanian cinema theatres, starting on February 27

The long film “Why Me?” by Tudor Giurgiu, inspired by the real story of prosecutor Cristian Panait who committed suicide in 2002, and featuring actors Emilian Oprea, Andreea Vasile and Dan Condurache will be premiered in Romanian cinema theatres on February 27, Mediafax informs.

Based on real events, “Why Me?” presents the story of Cristian (Emilian Oprea), a young and idealistic prosecutor who tries to solve a complicated case of corruption under the tumultuous social – political circumstances of 2000s Romania. Cristian conducts an inquiry on a fellow prosecutor accused of bribe taking, forgery, counterfeit as well as theft of documents. The inquiry reveals involvement at the highest level and shatters the young magistrate’s confidence in justice. While struggling to discover the truth, Panait enters a dangerous area and exposes himself to painful and unexpected revelations, a press release sent to Mediafax announces.

The long film was presented as part of a few special screenings before the second round of Presidential elections, in November 2014.

“A film inspired by such a powerful reality may be made in a thousand ways. I am strictly interested in discovering the mechanism that leads a literally and figuratively strong man to take his own life in no more than 20 days. What mechanisms, what inner actions are initiated when you come to realize that the entire system you have worked for and you have prepared for is corrupt and rotten to the bone? It is actually a film about the fast disintegration of a person who choses the fight the system from inside”, Tudor Giurgiu declared.

Emilian Oprea, an actor of the “Maria Filotti” Theatre in Braila is at his first lead role in a long cinema production. The cast is completed by actors Mihai Constantin, Andreea Vasile, Dan Condurache, Liviu Pintileasa, Mihai Smarandache, Alin Florea, Lucretia Mandric, Sore Mihalache, Ionut Caras and Virgil Ogasanu.

The film is directed by Tudor Giurgiu and it is his third long film after “Love Sick” (2006) and “People and Snails” (2012). He also wrote the script of the film, in collaboration with Loredana Novak. The cinematography is signed by Marius Panduru, the editing by Lemhenyi Reka, production design by Cristian Niculescu and the costumes were designed by Szelyes Andrea. The soundtrack of the film was composed by Viktor Chouchkov.

“Why Me?” is produced by Libra Film with the support of the National Centre of Cinematography (CNC), the Bulgarian National Film Center, Eurimages, the MEDIA Program and SEE Cinema Network, with the attendance of HBO România. The co-producers of the film Hai-Hui Entertainment, Chouchkov Brothers and Cor Leonis Films.

The project was developed at Berlinale Coproduction Market, EAVE – European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs and CineLink Co-Production Market.

In Romania, the film will be distributed by Ro Image 2000, in partnership with Transilvania Film.

Cristian Panait committed suicide on April 10, 2002, at the age of 29, jumping from the fourth floor of his home in Bucharest. Just a year before, he had been appointed prosecutor of the Legal Pursuit and Criminalities Department of the Supreme Court Prosecutors’ Office.

Among the files he was working on, there was the case of prosecutor Alexandru Lele from Oradea, who had ordered the arrest of Adrian Tarau, the son of the Bihor County prefect, under accusations of complicity to smuggling of oil products. Panait had the mission of conducting an inquiry against prosecutor Lele, accused of alleged corruption crimes and theft of documents. According to press articles, he refused to file charges against Lele due to the lack of conclusive proof and in less than a month after being appointed to conduct the case, he killed himself. In 2002, the case was closed after a “postmortem psychiatric evaluation” allegedly proved that the magistrate had committed suicide due to mental instability. The possibility that the suicide was favoured or determined was not investigated.


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