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Reviews & Ratings for
Forest of the Hanged More at IMDbPro »Padurea spânzuratilor (original title)

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Psychological thriller in times of war

7/10
Author: jurma
14 August 2006

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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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A Romanian masterpiece

Author: Vincentiu from Romania
1 January 2007

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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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Duty, Honor, Pride

9/10
Author: GManfred from Ramsey, NJ
5 December 2011

Lt. Apostol Bologa could feel none of those qualities. Due to a districting quirk, he ended up on the wrong side in the Great War, a Romanian on the side of Austro-Hungary. Feeling like a traitor, he tries to redeem himself somehow... and thereby hangs a heartbreaking tale.

"Forest Of The Hanged" is an exceptional film on all levels. It played at the Romanian Film Festival at NYC's Lincoln Center last week, so I was probably the only Irishman at the festival but I'm glad I went (happily, the picture was sub-titled). I had no idea the Romanians were such advanced filmmakers - I don't know what I was expecting, actually. What I saw was acting seldom seen on the big screen, and a directing job so competent and nuanced I was emotionally exhausted at the end of the film. In fact, the director played a key role, and was one of the best performers in the picture. The sets and the photography were superb - I think perfect is a better word.

The film is similar in theme to 1957's "Paths Of Glory" but delves even deeper into the psyches of its characters. Although it is a war picture there are very few battle scenes and concentrates mainly on motivations and consequences.

If any IMDb reader gets the chance, go see it. I don't know how, though, as it's not available in any format except the 35mm print I saw it in. It's not a feel-good picture, but I can't miss the chance to recommend one of the all-time great pictures nobody's ever heard of. Incidentally, the running time is 154 minutes (2hrs 34min), not 1hr 54min - be prepared for an extra half-hour over the IMDb site run time.

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