Romania / Republic of Moldova 2013 • 80 minutes • Romanian and Russian, with English subtitles • Romanian title: La limita de jos a cerului
Plus Q&A with actress Ela Ionescu
Script: Corneliu Porumboiu, Igor Cobileanski
Cast: Igor Babiac, Sergiu Voloc, Ela Ionescu, Igor Caras-Romanov, Angela Ciobanu
Synopsis: A drama about a young man from a forgotten little town of the Republic of Moldova, who has ahead of him a brilliant career peeling potatoes at the police canteen. Nothing ever happens except some harmless drugs, and ephemeral love, a crime and a persistent urge to fly towards a better world in a broken hang glider.
The Unsaved is set in the Republic of Moldova, a world unseen in cinema before, and the film is utterly revealing about the way the country is divided between a longing for Europe’s freedom and the Russian domination of its past. The script is written by one of the golden boys of the New wave of Romanian cinema, Corneliu Porumboiu, who is renowned for his sense of humour and talent in creating characters that are both tragic and comical, Igor Cobileanski is a young Moldovan director who makes his debut with this feature film.
Full Synopsis: The Unsaved is a bittersweet drama about a Sancho Panza rather than a Don Quixote. This is Viorel, a 25-year-old fledgling drug dealer, from a little backwater in the contemporary Republic of Moldova - an everyday non-hero facing circumstances instead of adventures.
He lives at home with his mother, his ears get red when he’s nervous and he lets his days pass in the usual “laissez-faire” Moldavian style. Through his best friend, Goose, he gets involved in small-time drug dealing. He also helps Goose to fly a hang glider that never seems to work properly; and he falls in love with Maria, the girl who happens to cut his hair. This easy going existentialism opens up several possibilities, which find our hero trapped in his own indecisiveness, until finally he reckons the moment has come for him to start growing up and act like an adult.
The first thing he does is get a job peeling potatoes in the police canteen in order to make his mother proud. The second thing is to quit the drug dealing and become a serious man, but not before stealing a car engine to “tune” Goose’s hang glider and deliver some drugs in his place. The third "adult" thing is to develop a serious relationship with Maria, who is the lover of a drug dealer in jail, and at the same time a cop’s mistress of convenience.
All these attempts at “adulthood” fail, and our man-boy becomes less and less a hero, and more a man just trying to get by. Cornered by the cops, Viorel swaps his best friend for his freedom. He chooses not to fight for Maria and lets her go back to her cruel lover on his release from prison. In the end, he is left all alone with a dream, Goose’s broken hang glider.
The naivety he brings to stealing and loving alike, his persistent urge to find the meaning of life through others, his careless way of letting time pass, and finally his choice of believing that flying only means falling, are just few of the themes which lie behind the prosaic poetry of this story and convert it into a drama exemplifying the liberation struggle of day to day life.