Sieranevada

sieranevada-1

Fundamentally, it is a conventional family drama in which emotions and secrets boil to the surface in the usual way. Forty days after the death of his father, Lary (Mimu Branescu), a doctor in his forties, is about to spend the Saturday at a family gathering to pay tribute to his father. He turns up for the party after having a huge row with his wife Laura about getting his daughter the wrong  disney costume for her school play. Laura is super-informed about everything and thinks a lot before she decides, while her other half, who relies more on gut feelings and improvisation, is the kind of person who listens to her with a bewildered smirk if he disagrees but then still wants to win the argument. The dialogue is sharp, funny and full of unexpected twists that are logical yet often turn things on their heads. Relatives and spouses are gathered, tensely. But through a strange series of events, they are prevented from eating. The event takes place just around the Charlie  Hebdo shooting, which sets the stage for a prolonged conspiracy theory discussion about 9/11. But seemingly countless topics are brought in, whether in the bedroom (the story of an abusive husband), in the kitchen (communism versus monarchy ), in the small office (the memorial service traditions), the dining room or even the tight hallway, from where we constantly revolve.  Cristi Puiu creates a claustrophobic atmosphere within an oppressive, environment, whether inside or outside the apartment. The proceedings are intense and alienated – often brilliant, sometimes slightly redundant. There are many long shots of 20-25 minutes where we are observing actions within two-rooms from outside. Here camera creates a third-person audience.

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