Review: Sieranevada (2016)

Sieranevada (2016)

Directed by: Cristi Puiu | 173 minutes | comedy, drama | Actors: Mimi Branescu, Judith State, Bogdan Dumitrache, Dana Dogaru, Sorin Mdeleni, Ana Ciontea, Rolando Matsangos, Mirela Apostu, Eugenia Bosânceanu, Ilona Brezoianu, Ioana Craciunescu, Valer Dellakeza, Aristita Diamandi, Simona Grikele,, Marinita Petra Kurtela, Catalina Mogan

Romanian society may be a stranger to us, but family gatherings are usually not. We all know of situations where people who have been through a lot together in the past, or only meet at funerals or weddings, have to spend hours together in a closed room. For some that is a party, the overall atmosphere is often alienating.

In ‘Sieranevada’ it is about a memorial gathering for a deceased family head. The film begins with a quarrel between son Lary and his wife over a trivial matter, and seems to build up to a climax in the following hours, which will come in a supercooled sense but can also escape you in the Polish Diet that is the meeting. The men lose themselves in conspiracy theories about 9/11 and other world events, the women cry for suffering that seems only indirectly related to the deceased patriarch.

The positivo in the undersigned recognizes the oppressive atmosphere of such situations, appreciates the way the camera moves with the characters to avoid theatrical boredom, and immerses himself in the national character of the Romanian, a key figure in the European tradition with its Latin language and food culture. , Soviet past and current NATO membership. The Romanians portrayed, for example, complain about America, but that is ‘always better’ than Putin’s Russia.

The discussions, which are not always connected and jump from Ceaucescu’s rule to cheating because of the need for oral sex, are a bit non-committal. That’s also because the number of characters is too large to get to know all of them well. We continue to follow Lary into the car, where a key marital moment emerges; here the camera takes place appropriately behind the two occupants, so that you only see the backs between the outpourings and tears.

A beautiful scene in which more is shown than said. Unfortunately, ‘Sieranevada’ then returns to the widow’s cramped flat, where, among other things, an unwanted uncle has to be released to allow the dinner to begin. The bizarre thing is that as a desired visitor (after all, the maker of this film wants us to see this) after just three hours you still have the feeling that you have watched a well-known family.

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