Original title: Perfect sănătos
Directed by Anca Damian
2017. 90m. Romania/France. Romanian with English subtitles. NR.
North American Premiere
Q&A with director Anca Damian and actor Anghel Damian
A young lawyer (Anghel Damian) trying to solve the mystery behind the unexpected death of his father, a prominent judge and notorious womanizer (Vlad Ivanov, playing against type), rattles the life of a quiet town and unearthes unwanted revelations. What starts as a thriller, complete with investigations and reenactments at the scene of what he believes to be a crime, slowly melts into a compulsive quest of Hamletian proportions. With a chilling visual style, courtesy of Director of Photography Oleg Mutu (Beyond the Hills), this strange animal of a movie is Damian’s most personal and intriguing yet, loosely inspired from the circumstances of her father’s tragic demise. The suspenseful story is emphasized by a solid performance from leading actor Anghel Damian, supported, along with Vlad Ivanov, by Olimpia Melinte, and the surprising Cristina Flora.
Screenplay: Anca Damian, Lia Bugnar
Cinematography: Oleg Mutu
Cast: Anghel Damian, Vlad Ivanov, Olimpia Melinte, Cristina Florea, Adrian Titieni
Production: Aparte Film, Arizona Productions
Part of “Director in Focus”. Anca Damian (b. 1962) is a singular voice in the Romanian film landscape. Not only the first female director of photography turned director, but a prolific auteur who does not neatly fit into the Romanian New Wave, Damian employs a cinematic style and career path of her own. She made her directorial debut with Crossing Dates (2008), an ambitious tryptic of interwoven stories, but it was the animated documentary Crulic – The Path to Beyond (2011) that brought her wide recognition. Premiering in the Locarno competition and subsequently shown in Telluride, the film garnered a smashing 150 film festival selections and more than 30 awards. Same storytelling technique, further refined, applies to her following documentary hybrid The Magic Mountain (2015) which premiered in the Karlovy Vary competition and is a striking mix of extravagant animation and narrative poetry. Besides animated works, Damian made three other live action feature films: A Very Unsettled Summer (2013), In Perfect Health (2017), and Moon Hotel Kabul (2017), all intellectually challenging, visually striking, narratively fractured, and with just enough experimental elements to place her among the most intriguing European female auteurs.