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.
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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
In reality, something happened. Some people have been executed without being guilty. They have been forced to play a role in their fake trials and all ended in their execution. A false history was created by some top authorities in order to teach some kind of a lesson to the people that worked in the communist regime structures. This movie was not made for the public. This false reenactment most probably inspired Lucian Pintilie to create a cinematographic masterpiece, Reconstruction (1968). Add to that the fact that Pintilie's film has been done in those crazy times, when you could have gotten into big trouble for criticizing the regime.
Now, here comes Caranfil, a great director, that takes the original story and twists it once again, turning these people into courageous heroes that opposed the regime. They get into a suicidal mission just to send a message. How much believable is that? Does this bring justice to the original six persecuted people? I'm not sure about that. There's a documentary, called Marele Jaf Comunist (The Great Communist Robbery) that reveals more of the true story. Anyway, a drama is not supposed to tell the real story, and that's OK, but in this case, it's a pity that some people will take it as history.
The real six people have been persecuted in communist style with fake trials and five of them were killed. They were Jews and they were high professionals. Moreover, ironically, they had a history in participating successfully in bringing the communism to Romania. So, why did the regime chose them in order to teach a lesson to the other communists, and probably to the Jewish communists?
The movie might leave you with the impression that all Jews were persecuted under the communism. Many of them they were. The Russian occupation brought suffering to all kinds of Romanian citizens. But many of the Jews supported the regime since the beginning.
I know that many of the Jews have been disappointed by the communism that they previously believed in. Most of the Jews went to Israel sometimes in the Sixties, but also, many Jews supported the communist repression, leading to massive deportation, imprisonment and execution of hundreds of thousands of Romanian citizens. You will not see this in the movie.
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