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Directed by Radu Muntean

Muddy roads, a car that gives up in a remote region, and an eclectic group of well-meaning urbane young people: Acclaimed Romanian filmmaker Radu Muntean (TUESDAY, AFTER CHRISTMAS) delicately pulls us into the alternatingly cavalier, paranoiac, and cynical mindset of a group of would-be humanitarians attempting to deliver aid when their SUV lands in a ditch amid an ever-darkening forest. Meeting up with a grizzled local asking for a ride to a sawmill, they bicker and confront their own limits of trust and goodwill: Is he a senile, benevolent soul? Or is he craftily leading them to their doom?



Critic's Pick. “...sly, mordantly funny…a movie that, with humor, tenderness and flashes of filmmaking brilliance, looks at what happens when kindness is tested, masks are dropped and self-interest runs free.”
– Manhola Dargis, The New York Times
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“Tense, gripping, darkly funny and ultimately compassionate… Has the spookiness of an old folk tale – and at times the deep, implacable shadows of a horror movie… it turns on a series of events that might sound dull or banal on paper but which become mesmerizing through the sheer force of the filmmaker’s concentration, the seriousness of his moral inquiry and, above all, the unassuming brilliance of his actors.”
– Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“A subtle, superb, funny-sad satire on the hypocrisy of charity. Fantastic… an uncannily gripping tragicomedy… that finds unexpectedly compelling new levels of scabrous humor and moving insight. (Radu Muntean) is a filmmaker dynamically reborn. In quick, clean dialogues that have the naturalistic feel of improvisation yet the pointedness of tight scripting… the relationships within the group are set up with instant clarity… Every interaction between these mischievously well-drawn personalities contains its own perpetual motion machine of suspense and surprise. Tudor Paduru’s photography, too, is a small wonder… rich, fitfully lovely images out of darkness lit only by flashlights or phone screens. A mordantly witty, keen-eyed, expertly performed delight.”
– Jessica Kiang, Variety

“Darkly comic, tense and humanizing… A quite startling vision of our shared humanity… A significant amount of time is spent, in Radu Muntean’s shaggy dog story, attempting to dig a car out of a muddy bog… And yet, because of Muntean’s intelligence, his command of character and directing of actors, because of a magic of some ilk…it is riveting. Muntean’s exquisitely layered writing manages to establish character dynamics succinctly and derive as much tension and hilarity from these events as possible… The action progresses in a series of finely sketched episodes.”
– Caspar Salmon, Sight + Sound

“(The) playfully caustic realm of social satire. Vivid. An understated but piquant debate on social responsibility… (with) a witty script.”
– Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

“A sharply drawn and subtle fable about the meaning of charity and the limits of altruism… Much of its humor and horror comes from somewhat obvious, prosaic observations about the differences between generations and regional cultures. Remarkably nuanced. (Its) coda, at once immaculately subtle and fiendishly clever… Hyper-inquisitive and devastatingly witty.”
– Christopher Gray, SLANT

Film Forum