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Criticism of ‘RMN’, European xenophobia

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Cristian Mungiu writes and directs a drama that takes us to a troubled Transylvania to show us the sociopolitical tensions in Romania.

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    Since his early consecration with ‘4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days’, Cristian Mungiu has turned his filmography into a rigorous scan of Romania’s recent past and present sociopolitical tensions. His new feature film offers another precise x-ray of the state of things in his country from a multi-ethnic and idyllic-looking town in Transylvania on Christmas Eve, turned into the microcosm that encapsulates the xenophobic and macho withdrawal of European society in the face of future uncertainties and the atavistic fears that haunt her.

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    With that mastery to orchestrate the convergent events of a group of characters that characterizes the filmmakers of the Romanian New Wave, Mungiu brings to the table the accumulation of factors that feed the explosion of xenophobic hatred triggered by the arrival of three immigrant workers. The film ends in a prodigious scene, that of a citizen assembly that gathers through the diverse voices of the characters the distance between the real Europe and the standards demanded by its institutions.

    To delve into the serpent’s egg of xenophobia in Europe

    The best: the fixed frame sequence of the assembly.

    The worst: the certain aftertaste of the formula of ‘Romanian cinema for festivals’.

    DATA SHEET

    Direction: Christian Mungiu Distribution: Marin Grigore, Judith State, Macrina Barladeanu, Orsolya Moldovan Country: USA Year: 2022 Release date: 28–12-2022 Gender: Drama Script: Christian Mungiu Duration: 125 min.

    Synopsis: A few days before Christmas, Matthias returns to his hometown, a multi-ethnic town in Transylvania, after leaving his job in Germany. He is worried about his son, Rudi, who has grown up without him, and his father, Otto, who was left alone, and wants to see Csilla, his ex-girlfriend, again. He tries to become more involved in the education of the boy, who has spent too much time in the care of his mother, Ana, and wants to help him overcome his irrational fears. When the factory that Csilla runs decides to hire foreign employees, the peace of this small community will be disturbed, and the concerns will affect the adults as well. Frustrations, conflicts and passions will surface again, breaking the apparent peace of the community.

    Source: Fotogramas

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