Romanian cinema triumphs again with top Berlin award

Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:46am EST
 
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By Mike Collett-White

BERLIN (Reuters) - Romania claimed another major scalp on the European film festival circuit this weekend when "Child's Pose" won the Golden Bear in Berlin, underlining the country's emergence as a powerhouse of hard-hitting cinema in the post-Communist era.

The film, directed by Calin Peter Netzer, tells the story of Cornelia, an obsessive mother who uses every trick in the book to prevent her son from going to jail after he kills a boy in a car accident.

It is the latest in a long list of critical hits that have enjoyed startling success at festivals like Berlin and Cannes in recent years, helping to bring Romania's cinema to a wider audience.

Some of Romania's top directors, who have enjoyed the artistic freedom that flourished after the death of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, dismiss talk of a cinematic "new wave", saying it lumps together very different styles and stories.

But ever since Cristi Puiu's "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" hit Cannes in 2005, and two years later his compatriot Cristian Mungiu won the coveted Palme d'Or there for the harrowing abortion drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days", Romanian cinema has been firmly on the map.

"It is an acknowledgement, I think, that Romanian cinema is still producing good quality cinema and has been for a few years and it is a good endowment that it is still like this," Netzer told Reuters after receiving the Golden Bear for best film.

UNFLINCHING STORYTELLING

While each film differs, there is a common thread of unflinching storytelling and compelling human drama often laid out against the backdrop of a cold and uncaring society.   Continued...

 
Director Calin Peter Netzer holds the Golden Bear award for the Best Film received for the movie "Pozitia Copilului" (Child's Pose) at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 16, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz