When the Soviet Army marched into Romania in 1944, a part of the Romanian population went "into the mountains" - a diverse assortment of nationalists and fascists, liberals, apolitical farmers and members of the middle-class, who were affected by the Communists' expropriations. Over a thousand armed resistance groups took refuge in the inaccessible forests of the Carpathian Mountains where they waited in vain for the support of the Western Allies. One of them was led by Ion Gavrila-Ogoranu, who managed to remain undetected until 1976 when he was arrested. This film depicts the daily existence of this group. It tells the story of a struggle that became an end in itself, as the enemy was constantly in pursuit and arrest meant torture and often liquidation. Hungry and emotionally withdrawn, the group of young men got entangled in a partisan war that could not be won, lost in the landscape of the South Carpathians, accompanied by a vigilant secret police, the Securitate.Written by
For the International release copy, there is an alternate version of 120 min, instead of the Romanian version, longer, the original one, which has 163 min See more »
A beautiful movie worth to be watched not only by the Romanian citizens but by any foreigner!
Indeed, first of all, I consider that this movie should be seen by as many Romanian citizens as possible (at least this is my wish and the main purpose of this review) but I think that any foreigner can also enjoy its beauty.
Why all the Romanian citizens should see this movie? A part of the answer to this question results directly from reading the synopsis. Still, I will add a few words. I consider that the story showed in this movie is among the few historical facts which could help us (Romanian citizens – mainly the young generation) not to be so ashamed of our people's cowardice shown during the communist period, until the '89 Revolution.
This is the story of a few courageous (if not insanely courageous) young men fighting the Monster, or just in fact opposing the Monster (until the presumed arrival of the Americans). They fight also their fear of death, strangely enough by trying to concentrate on another fear - more important – that of being condemned by their sons of cowardice.
The other part of the answer is the same as for the question "Why should any other foreigner see this movie?" and I will try to present the other qualities of the movie, beside the story.
I liked a lot the script because there are a lot of smart lines. I liked especially the sequences that show in parallel: 1) the speeches of the police (securitate) with the all the necessary instructions in order to catch the enemy and 2) the scenes with the interrogations and torturing taking place in reality – not quite following the soft indications given from above . The alternation of these two "worlds" is made brilliantly and is more effective then any documentary movie with a 3 hours speech on the inhumanity of the communist regime.
I was deeply moved by two scenes which showed the love of a mother and the love for a friend. I don't remember such similar powerful scenes in any other movie. Of course, I might be subjective in my preference, but I am sure they will move you too.
I liked the way the director chose to shoot the group scenes with the young heroes. In some of them nothing happens indeed (as action) but they show so much and make us understand them better and even entering (if we choose) the atmosphere. You can feel the high grass touching you also, the cold raindrops dripping on your skin as well
I liked the alternation of the colored scenes with the (more rare) black and white scenes. The scenes in black and white are shown blurry and I found them very appropriate for the story and they added a lot of beauty to the movie. Beside these sequences in black and white, there are a lot of very beautiful images (the landscapes in Fagaras' mountains; the portraits of our heroes and of the other characters in different situations, using different lights and shadows ).
Why not a 10 then? Only a nine Mainly, because the actor playing the main character is not succeeding to convince us that he feels, he understands the profound and beautiful lines But, as he speaks pretty rare this doesn't affect the movie that much.
It's already too long this review but I hope that at least it will serve its' purpose.
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