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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
Maybe, the single masterpiece in Romanian cinematography. It is not an ecranisation but a way of reality's reflection. It is a story about war, love, duty and love but it is more. It is a poem in which light, acting and atmosphere are parts of a subtle description of a ordinary strange world.
Victor Rebengiuc, at beginning of his impressive career, create a special character, with thinks, gestures, relationship in Dostoievsky's style, but in a deep mode. The war is not a event, it is the principal character, every image, gorgeous image is one of conflict's bones.
The mud, rope or questions have East European nimbus but the art of Ciulei is the convert of this atmosphere in essence of crisis. A world falls, an interior world, a conscience, and this event is the end of every hour of exterior time. Apostole Bologa is the prototype of anonymous anti-hero, he believes in values of every civilizations and who assist at there putrefaction.
A splendid film of a huge director.
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