Corneliu Porumboiu was on the list of award recipients in the Un Certain Regard section whose jury was presided this year by actor and director Isabella Rossellini. “Comoara” brings a series of novelties in character motivation and the resuscitation of cinema narration. These are qualities – without leaving humor and fine irony behind – with which Porumboiu has won over the audience and the special critics at Cannes every time. Let us recall that, presented at Quinzaine des Realisateurs, “A fost sau n-a fost?” won the Camera d’Or in 2006. Three years later, in 2009, “Politist.Adjectiv” took part in Un Certain Regard and won the FIPRESCI Award and the Jury’s Award.
This year, “Comoara” draws attention to the Romanian author’s capacity to create simple stories. Their stake however proves to be much deeper and more complex. The characters of the new film are two apartment building neighbors, both of whom find themselves in financial difficulties. Costi is a young father. In the evening he reads to his 6-year-old son The Adventures of Robin Hood. His neighbor Adrian, who unable to pay his bank installments is at risk of losing his house, asks Costi to accompany him at his grandparents’ house (located in Islaz commune, Teleorman County) in order to search for the treasure rumored to be hidden there. Helped by a metal detector specialist, the two dig during the night and find a metal box. It does not contain jewelry, valuables or gold but equities that had been in the possession of the German officers quartered there during the last world war.
Like in a fairy tale, their sale brings them the dreamed “treasure,” but Costi, the young father, when leaving the bank buys a lot of jewelry and offers them as a gift to his son’s kindergarten colleagues.
It all seems a prank, a game, but the way in which Porumboiu associates the desperation of people at the end of hope with the chance of fulfilling their dream of becoming rich, but especially the hijacking of that dream, its amending through surprising generosity, produces emotion and once again draws attention to an inventive cinema director. The director avoids common places, subjects that are in fashion. He finds a certain way of investigating recent as well as older history. He does it by pointing out the way the old house was used (pharmacy, kindergarten during the communist era), night club (after 1989) and now recovered by the heirs.
Porumboiu’s film wins Un Certain Talent Award
Four other awards were offered in the same section: Un Certain Regard (Iceland’s “Les Beliers”); the Jury’s Award (for Croatia’s “Zvizdan”); Best Director Award (for Japan’s “Kishibe no tabi”). The Future Award was offered, ex aequo, to an Indian and an Iranian director, respectively.