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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.
At the time of release, was the most expensive Romanian film since the 1989 revolution, as well as the widest release and the first film remake in the country's history. Coincidentally, director Bogdan Dumitrescu also helmed the country's first film since the revolution, Unde la soare e frig (1991). 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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