The Whistlers/La Gomera

Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu
Thursday 24 October, 6.20pm
Followed by Q&A with director Corneliu Porumboiu and visual artist Arantxa Etcheverria Porumboiu

Screening followed by Q&A with director Corneliu Porumboiu and visual artist Arantxa Etcheverria Porumboiu.
Hosted by film writer Ian Haydn Smith.

(2019 | Romania-France-Germany | Comedy, Crime | 97 min | in Romanian, with English subtitles)
UK Distribution: Curzon Artificial Eye  

Stars: Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Agusti Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Istvan Teglas, Cristobal Pinto, Antonio Buil, George Pistereanu

An exciting suspense thriller, about a corrupt Bucharest cop (Vlad Ivanov), who has become involved in the drug-money-laundering setup he has been investigating. He arrives in La Gomera in the Canary Islands in order to infiltrate the mafia and recover a large sum of money concealed inside a mysterious mattress, but he must first learn the difficult local dialect, a language that includes whistling, hissing and spitting.

“Political satire meets pulp fiction in the latest from Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu. It’s a playful thriller that works as both a critique of state bureaucracy and a briskly commercial film noir. Unfolding in Tarantino-esque chapters that forge their own competing timescales, The Whistlers tells the story of Cristi, a weatherworn cop who’s become part of the Bucharest crime syndicate he’s meant to be investigating. This takes him to the island of La Gomera in the Canaries, where he is schooled in the art of ‘silbo’ whistling – a secret language used by shepherds that sounds like birdsong and hence is perfect for keeping secrets from his eavesdropping colleagues. The result is a slick and engaging mystery, steeped in the classic hardboiled mythology of Hammett and Chandler.” (Damon Wise for BFI LFF)