An American journalist, a mysterious Gypsy woman and a bookkeeper with an inside angle try to stay one step ahead of a gang of ruthless killers as they uncover the horrors of the human trafficking of sex slaves in the Balkans.

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Igor Guzun ...
Minister of Health
Vera Maryanchik ...
Vera
Roland Muldoon ...
Jack
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An American journalist, a mysterious Gypsy woman and a bookkeeper with an inside angle try to stay one step ahead of a gang of ruthless killers as they uncover the horrors of the human trafficking of sex slaves in the Balkans.

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Thriller

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1 January 2004 (USA)  »

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Moldova through the eyes of an American
11 January 2008 | by (Republic of Moldova) – See all my reviews

According to Ports who starred in the leading role of Bucharest Express

  • his express to stardom - it cost him approximately 100 thousand US
dollars. Back in America he filmed two documentaries and since has spent a year teaching sociology in Chisinau. He was so affected by unrestrained crime, mafia dealings, poverty and an all together bleak future of the Moldovan people that he decided to film a movie he could show to the entire world to prove that after all America is a heaven on earth for everybody who lives there. Nobody tramples the rights of man in America, everybody receives fair and ample pay to cover at least minimum expenses. Rapists, mafia, bribery, prostitution and human trade exist only in Moldova that carries the strange name of Bekova in the movie.

There is no disagreeing that Ports raises serious social issues, which implies the need for an immediate program to resolve them. However instead of triggering a positive strive for improvement the most appalling of them through the producer's particular presentation they arouse laughter as well as indignation on the part of the audience. Chisinau does not appear in the movie at all as if it did not exist. Everything Ports shows are Soviet time scenes of the outskirts of the city with dilapidated houses, heaps of garbage and homeless bums. The picture is dark with the dirty streets of the capital where electricity has been turned off for debts, the people have no idea what hot water is, bathe in basins and are afraid to leave their homes after nine o'clock in the evening. Skinheads in black shirts run the mafia beating up or killing everybody who happens to cross the road in the wrong place. Shooting takes place even during the day because Chief Officer of the Department of Corruption Prevention has been bribed. The government is also linked to mafia and cannot do anything to fight female exploitation. Women are literally taken into slavery beyond the borders of the country to work as prostitutes. They are sold and resold to numerous clients.

Bucharest Express is a movie about a totally degraded society with no morals or values. The actors strain too much for the viewer to appreciate the effort. It is easy to conclude that the film overall is a vain hypocritical attempt to strike the social keynote. Out of the 18 people present at the premiere few remained to watch the stupefying end when in the middle of the day George's girlfriend shoots the skinheads. Then the heroic crew gets on the train (Chisinau-Bender), which is supposed to take them home to their city. At this point the last people left the theater. Although the Moldovan viewer can appreciate a good motion picture this piece of film-making proved to be too much. The iterating "stupid Americans" phrase in the movie is a stereotypic approach to the Moldovan nation, which on the whole nurtures respect for Americans just as for all other people. Turn this around and next we will be having a movie with Americans shouting something like "Russians are all drunkards" off the big screen. That would probably cause a major political scandal if not war.

How could an American assume the responsibility of judging another nation? How could Ports, a representative of the country that professes to have no stereotypes and detests labeling create such an oversimplified false image of Moldova? The movie was practically booed in Chisinau and hopefully the European audience will realize that lack of talent has a direct influence on the work a person can produce. Unfortunately Chuck Ports does not understand that either because his hankering for success after several failures is so great or because he truly believes that he is conveying an important message whatever it may be. However Bucharest Express characterizes him not only as a producer but also as an American who has been totally oblivious of his nation's principles of expression when he created the film.


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