Cornelia (Luminita Gheorghiu) is an overbearing and overprotective mother. When her son, Barbu (Bogdan Dumitrache), is involved in a car accident which kills a child, she uses her wealth and affluence to stop the manslaughter charges.
From an Australian perspective, it is incredibly worthwhile viewing because of its examination of contemporary Romanian society and for the most part, an enlightening and tragic story. However, the film does not allow the audience to feel empathy towards the main characters. Both harsh and unforgiving, it is not until the last scene when Cornelia faces the dead child’s parents that guilt, love and social inequality come to a head.
Although the documentary style camera work is sometimes disconcerting, it’s easy to see why it won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. (ATS)