Calin Peter Netzer, 2013
Romanian cinema’s purple patch shows no signs of paling with this tensely wrought family drama which scooped the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival last year.
In the aftermath of a motorway accident in which he has killed a schoolboy, the thirtyish scion of a well-to-do family retreats into silent solitude while his spiky mother springs into action to confront a wily witness and expunge his guilt.
The latter proves no problem – briskly taken care of in a kind of police corruption procedural – but it is clear that mother and son are on a collision course of their own. Initially Netzer’s clinical camera casts no one in a particularly flattering light, neither strangely passive and emotionally detached son nor coolly manipulative mother. But gradually a touching humanity emerges amid the starkly articulated pain in this deftly handled dissection of guilt and grief.