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In 1916, ethnic Romanian Apostol Bologa is a Lieutenant in the Habsburg Army and he reports for duty on the front lines determined to do his duty. Upon his arrival, he meets a fellow officer, Captain Klapka, and informs him of the upcoming execution of Lieutenant Svoboda who tried to desert to the enemy. Lieutenant Bologa shows his satisfaction at having been a member of the Court Martial that convicted Svoboda to death by hanging. After all, they all took an oath of loyalty toward the Habsburgs. Despite Bologa's loyal bravado, the fact that their enemy is the Romanian Army doesn't escape him. The Romanian lines are just a few yards away and being a Romanian himself Bologa longs for his native Romania. More and more Bologa agonizes over loyalty and desertion to his Romanian brethren. His friend, Captain Klapka, reminds him of the severe penalty for desertion. Written by
Actor and director, Liviu Ciulei adapted Rebreanu's novel into the masterpiece that Padurea Spanzuratilor is. Won Best Directing at Cannes and was nominated for Palm D'Or.
The action does not take place in the WWII as another user put it. How could it take place in the WWII when the actual novel was written in 1922? Did you ever at least saw the film?
The action takes place in the First World War, with Apostol Bologa being a Romanian officer in the Austro-Hungarian army (Romania's enemies), fighting against his own people.
Apart from being a historical film, it is also a portrait of the Transilvanian society at the beginning of the 20th century. The action is furthermore complicated by Apostol falling in love with a Hungarian woman.
The only downside to this movie is its grotesque soundtrack. Terrible. Wish it was a mute film, because visually everything is great.
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