Forest of the Hanged

Liviu Ciulei, who's enjoyed a celebrated career in European and American theater as well as film, won the director's prize at Cannes for this incisive 1964 antiwar drama, a landmark in Romanian cinema. Fighting for the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, a Romanian aristocrat (Victor Rebengiuc) befriends a fellow officer (Ciulei) who's starting to unravel; through their relationship the film considers betrayal, nationalism, and the arrogance of the ruling classes. Cinematographer Ovidiu Gologan uses the widescreen frame to somber effect, conveying in pristine black and white the scope of war?s devastation. In Romanian with subtitles. 158 min.

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