Aferim! – An “Eastern” with a Silver Bear
February 22, 2015Posted by on
Set in a similar period to American Westerns, but geographically an ocean and almost a continent away, finally we have a quality, local-made “Eastern” movie getting some buzz.
After the cinematic American Wild West of the 1800s fascinated Europe, I wonder if a European Wild East will fascinate America. Or anyone else watching the Berlin festival 2015 Silver Bear award-winning movie “Aferim!”, by Radu Jude.
Reviews sound optimistic:
“Seemingly a stylistic 180 from his last film (the tremendous domestic black comedy “Everyone In Our Family”), director Radu Jude’s “Aferim!” has been categorized by most as a “Romanian Western.” And if this summons a certain Sergio Leone vibe, then it’s borne out by the opening titles, set in a distinctly cowboyish font against a shot of a cactus framed against a bright sky while a traditional folk song wails out. But while we’re told this is 1835 Wallachia, the film’s brilliantly well-imagined world, photographed in tactile black and white, seems to belong to an earlier era — a time of feudal lords, troubadours, hags and wenches. Then again, perhaps the “man’s gotta do” ethos of the American West (as imagined in cinema) is itself an evolution of the tales of knights and quests and honor such as might have been immortalized in jaunty Medieval folk songs and passed on in crowded taverns. These were just a few of the thoughts I didn’t have while watching “Aferim!” — I was too busy laughing.”
Congrats Radu Jude!