Last night I was one of the lucky guests of Romanian Cinematheque at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Belgrave Square, London. Yesterday’s show was “Philanthropy” (Filantropica), directed by Nae Caranfil and starring Mircea Diaconu and Gheorghe Dinica. The film is a winner of Young European Jury Award at Mons Festival of Love Films 2002 and Public Prize at Paris Film Festival 2002.

The film is a predecessor of Slumdog Millionaire and even better than the Oscar-winning production. Ovidiu, a 35 year old teacher is living with his parents and belongs to Bucharest’s “beggars with a degree” class. His self-published book of fiction is barely earning him the equivalent of a tram ticket but everything will change after he meets the TV spokesmodel Diana.

The film is a nice bitter comedy but stripping off the comedy wrap it is also a sad story. The circumstances will always turn into Ovidiu’s favour. When you expect the truth to be revealed, there is also a comic twist that makes Ovidiu a winner and a hero, and  his bruised eye will also contribute to that.

The Romanian Cinematheque will screen on the 15 of June 2010 the film “A Girl’s Tear” (1980) which is described by critics as “a provocative blend of ethnography and murder mystery”. On the 13th of July you can watch California Dreamin (Endless) which won top prize at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
There is a free entrance to the event but pre-booking is recommended.

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