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Pororoca

Screening on Film
Directed by Constantin Popescu.
With Bogdan Dumitrache, Iulia Lumânare, Costin Dogioiu.
Romania/France, 2017, DCP, color, 153 min.
Romanian with English subtitles.
DCP source: WIDE

Constantin Popescu’s film of a couple and their missing child is as realistic, as brutally immersive an experience as cinema can provide. The distanced wide-shots that replicate the experience of the uncontrollable chaos of life are the same ones which make it easy to lose sight of a child playing with others in a busy park, while the nervous, handheld tracking camera plummets the viewer into the sweaty, panicked palpitations of searching or following any stray leads. Popescu’s audience not only lives with Tudor—the father who lost track of the child for that single, most feared moment—they live inside his grief, his horror, his attempts to distract himself, his frustration with the police and eventually, his obsession with a man who regularly visits the park alone. Named after a destructive tidal wave which occurs in rivers, not oceans, Pororoca astounds in its unbelievable power to induce the audience into total identification with Tudor, even as he edges frighteningly toward the same indescribable darkness that took his daughter away.

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