A Romanian police officer teams up with a small crew of old friends from the World War II Jewish Resistance to pull off a heist by convincing everyone at the scene of the crime that they are only filming a movie.
Bucharest 1959. A spectacular Bank heist has the country in an uproar. In post-war Communist Romania it is an unimaginable slap in the face to the iron fisted authorities. Four men and a woman are arrested, tried, convicted and while waiting for their execution... are forced to star in a propaganda film about the crime. All five protagonists were heroes of the resistance during the Second World War and highly placed members of Romanian society. They clearly knew they would be caught and executed. Written by
Director Nae Caranfil on the historical background and his research: "...usually I don't do very much research. I rely on my imagination but this time, I tried to get every bit of information I could. The best thing I did, in a way, was to get hold of some Israeli Romanian language magazines published in Tel Aviv where they made a whole file over three or four editions of the events with people that were remembering things in very different ways. So, I got very different angles on this story and then, aside from the documentary film [Marele jaf comunist (2004)] made by Alexandru Solomon, I saw another documentary film [Reconstruction (2002)] of which nobody knew in Romania, made by the woman's granddaughter [Irene Lusztig]. She's living in New York and she came to Bucharest in 1999 and made a documentary about her grandmother."  See more »
Lord, in thy great bounty, screw the Bolsheviks, give them every disease in the world, ruin them, burn their houses, and send them back to Moscow, Amen.
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You've probably never heard of the Ioanid Gang, or the bank robbery that they carried out in Bucharest in 1959. I had never heard of it before I watched Nae Caranfil's "Closer to the Moon". The movie isn't any kind of masterpiece, but sufficiently looks at this incident, and how Romania's Soviet-backed government arrested the gang and forced them to star in a propaganda film reenacting the robbery.
One of the thing that we notice while watching the movie is the hypocrisy of the Eastern Bloc governments. They claimed that they were establishing classless societies but there was a high society (and the people in the government had no qualms about themselves jewelry). Later on, Nicolae Ceaușescu forced women to have as many children as possible, which overfilled Romania's orphanages. Most of the heads of state in the Eastern Bloc were typical ideologues, but Ceaușescu sounded like a mental case.
Anyway, the movie's worth seeing.
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