„The Romanian New Wave shows no signs of waning, with steady input from such directors as Corneliu Porumboiu, Cristi Puiu, and Cristian Mungiu. Porumboiu’s films, including 12:08 of Bucharest (2006) and his latest documentary, Infinite Football, deal slyly and playfully with the legacy of communism, while Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills (2012) and Graduation (2016) as well as Puiu’s The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) and Sieranevada (2016) are tense chamber dramas, marked with morbid humor. A touch of angst lingers in all of these works, with frequent allusions or direct examination of the recent past.
In this cinematic landscape, Bucharest-born Radu Jude is a bit of an anomaly. Jude first gained significant recognition on the international festival circuit when he won the Best Director prize at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival for Aferim!. With its gallows humor, the film earned Jude comparisons to Robert Altman as well as to American Westerns. Meanwhile, its stunning black-and-white photography and labyrinthine landscapes could be as easily compared to Wojciech Has’s enduring cult classic The Saragossa Manuscript (1965). The latter comparison particularly points to the fact that Jude has a unique aptitude for fashioning tales that hover in the indefinite space between distant historical fact and fantasy…”