The xenophobia and resentment lying beneath the surface of a quiet village come to the fore in explosive fashion in this dense, troubling social thriller from Romanian auteur Cristian Mungiu (PFF21’s BEYOND THE HILLS, PFF25’S GRADUATION). Returning home after an ill-fated stint working abroad, Matthias (Marin Grigore) is determined to re-exert his influence over his young son, who’s recently stopped talking. Meanwhile, Matthias’s former lover Csilla (Judith State) manages a small bread factory, where she struggles to attract local workers at low wages. To fill several empty positions, she hires three men from Sri Lanka, and the resulting firestorm reveals a deep well of bigotry that threatens to tear the entire town apart. Employing masterful filmmaking technique (capped off by a jaw-dropping long-take set in a contentious town hall meeting), Mungiu mercilessly dissects the complex blend of geopolitics and base human nature underlying the town’s implosion.
CAST: Marin Grigore, Judith State, Macrina Barladeanu, Orsolya Moldován
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