Lucian Pintilie is one of the most important directors in the Romanian theater and film. His second movie 'Reconstituirea' (1968) remains a masterpiece of the Romanian cinema, and a very little known protest film in the Eastern Europe cinema.
'Dupa amiaza unui tortionar' is a voyage in the dark past of Romania. Political crimes committed at the beginning of the communist rule were kept in silence for many decades, most of the victims are dead, and it is the torturer in this film who seems to be eager to speak because of his own remorse. The society around him does not seem very interested to hear the truth though, his former employers now new riches of the new regime try to keep him silent. There is a mob scene, intimidating and threatening to lynch the main character if he dares to speak, which reminds the final scene in 'Reconstituirea'.
The film is low budget, and it is mainly build of the documentary-like rendition of the unspeakable deeds in low voice and builds on the fantastic act of Gheorghe Dinica. In front of him pass phantoms of the past, not necessarily ghosts or nightmares, but rather the lusty fantasies and idealized characters that seem to explain the motivation of his deeds. The evil seems to say Pintilie is less political although we are dealing with political crimes, but rather lies in the human nature. And yet, there is hope in the desire of the character to be absolve by bearing witness. When the victims are dead it is up to the torturers to speak up the unbearable truth.
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