Scarred Hearts represents Romania in the Locarno competition
by Stefan Dobroiu
- Radu Jude's fourth film explores the extreme experiences of a young man committed to a sanatorium
After winning a Silver Bear for Best Director with his acclaimed Aferim! [+see also:
interview: Radu Jude
film profile], Radu Jude has another chance to increase the number of items in his precious metal-plated zoo: the director is in the running for the first Golden Leopard of his career, as his period drama Scarred Hearts [+see also:
film profile] has been selected in the main competition of the 69th Locarno International Film Festival (3-13 August).
The film is a loose adaptation of Max Blecher's novel of the same title. Inspired by his own life, Blecher wrote about the extreme experiences of Emanuel, a man in his twenties suffering from bone tuberculosis. Committed to a sanatorium on the shore of the Black Sea, Emanuel will have to endure painful spine punctures, spending his days covered in plaster on a stretcher-bed.
But Emanuel will soon discover that his life is not over and that the sanatorium, with its rather grim realities, can be a place of new discoveries and interesting experiences. It's the year 1937, and the screenplay written by Jude will also follow what's happening outside the sanatorium, with Romania increasingly affected by right-wing extremism.
With a budget exceeding €1 million, the production started in November 2015 and wrapped after a short period of shooting in March. The film was produced by Hi Film Production (Romania) in co-production with Komplizen Film (Germany). Marius Panduru (Aferim!) is the DoP. Actors Lucian Teodor Rus, Ivana Mladenovic, Ilinca Hărnuţ, Şerban Pavlu, Marian Olteanu and Alexandru Dabija play the main characters. The film is handled internationally by Beta Cinema.
At Locarno, Romania is also represented in the short-film competition by Sebastian Mihăilescu's Old Luxurious Flat Located in an Ultra-central, Desirable Neighbourhood.