Romania 2013 • 112 minutes • Comedy • English with Romanian subtitles
Costume Designer: Doina Levintza
Plus Q&A with director Nae Caranfil
Mark Strong – Max Rosenthal
Vera Farmiga – Alice
Harry Lloyd – Virgil
Anton Lesser – Holban
Christian McKay – Iorgu
Tim Plester – Dumi
Joe Armstrong – Razvan
Synopsis: Bucharest 1959. The spectacular heist of a van belonging to the National Bank has the whole country in an uproar. In communist Romania, a gangster attack of this kind is inconceivable not only for the state authorities, but also for the man in the street. What can you do with the unexchangeable Romanian lei, in a political and economic regime that drastically limits the use of money? The authors of the heist: four men and a woman, all high ranking members of the communist Party, without any material worries. A month later they are arrested, tried and sentenced to death, but while waiting the execution, they are “invited” to play their own parts in a cinematographic reenactment of their actions, with the purpose of making an educational and propaganda film for the hard working people of Romania! During several days the heroes of the heist are taken from their cells at Jilava prison, and transformed into “movie stars”. Meanwhile everyone around them – police officers, investigators, film crew members – are all asking themselves the same question: why did they do it? What were they hoping to get?
Nae Caranfil offers the audience his own answer to the mystery which still remains unsolved, in a film that is both tragic and comic, realized in English, with a prestigious, international cast.