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In order to avoid reprisals from the Wehrmacht for the murder of a soldier, intellectuals from a Romanian village try to convince Ipu, the village idiot, to take the blame for the murder and save everybody.
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Once upon a time, during WWII, somewhere in Nazi occupied Romania, a night of comic misadventures ensues when a boy discovers a dead soldier. The German authorities demand that the perpetrator must be identified or the town leaders will be shot the following morning. In their desperation, led by Father Johanis (Harvey Keitel), their salvation seems to lie in convincing the town "fool", Ipu (Gérard Depardieu), to agree to confess, and save them all with his sacrifice. The comedy and darker sides of human nature race toward the deadline where one cannot help but wonder who, in fact, is the actual "fool"? Written by
monterey media inc.
Family Film, the producers of A Farewell to Fools (2013) made significant changes to the final edit, angering the film's director Bogdan Dreyer and his cast. Lead actor Gérard Depardieu wrote an open letter saying: "I do not accept compromises, I do not like to be fooled". He backed the director, who said that the producers are breaking contractual agreements and did not have copyright over the film's script. In his letter Depardieu further said he enjoyed making the film and working in Romania with the local actors. The main problems resulted apparently from the producers' attempts to secure US distribution. To achieve this, the film had been given a happy Hollywood ending and, according to Depardieu, lost the "poetry" of the original version. The film finally premiered 2013 in Romania with all the main actors and the director absent from the opening ceremony. See more »
Full of historical errors (they use Cluj's post-communist flag during WW2?) and lacking any of the psychological and dramatic depth of the 1972 version, this film, albeit well shot and edited, is an unnecessary re-adaptation of Popovici's text. Without firm direction and tight script, the only acting to be somewhat appraised, belongs to Mr. Harvey Keitel. Mr. Depardieu only manages to aimlessly wander through his lines, and the changed ending (as by the producers' wishes) just steals what little enjoyment was left in this venture. An interesting take though is to replace the original Romanian pope to a Transylvanian Saxon minister, thus enabling even more historical debate over the subject.
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