The Rest Is Silence | Chicago Reader

The Rest Is Silence

Nae Caranfil, whose Philanthropy (2002) satirized contemporary Romanian capitalism, leaps back to the early days of cinema for this ambitious but rather unwieldy 2007 historical drama. A young movie director in Bucharest wins the financial backing of a vainglorious theater owner to shoot an epic about the Romanian struggle for independence against the Ottoman Empire. Caranfil based his script on the true story of Independenta Romaniei (1912), a two-hour film that at the time was the longest movie ever made, and clips from the real-life film are sprinkled throughout this fictionalized tale. The comic scenes are deftly handled, but a subplot involving the director's relationship with an aspiring theater actress goes off the rails, and chronicling the birth of a national cinema proves too weighty a burden. In Romanian with subtitles.

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