Political intrigues and conspiracies in Gruzsniczki’s The Other Irina
“He is a Don Quixote searching for his Dolcinea”, said director Andrei Gruzsniczki of Aurel, the main character of The Other Irina. Aurel works as a security guard in a large Bucharest department store and is married to Irina (Simona Popescu, The Death of Mister Lazarescu [+see also:
film profile]), who accepts a job in Cairo against her husband’s wishes. She flies to Egypt, returns for a few days and leaves again.
Then Aurel receives a phone call that his wife has killed herself. And he finds himself, like a modern-day Don Quixote, fighting not windmills (nor the pyramids – the film never leaves Romania) but the image of a woman he apparently never knew, as well as the bureaucratic cavils of two difficult countries.
The subtext of the spy story – is it really Irina’s body that returns to Bucharest? and what hides behind the reticent omissions of the Egyptian diplomatic corps? – won over the public at the recent Bergamo Film Meeting, where it screened in world premiere and won the Audience Award.
Yet the true heart of this work, which is never over the top, lies elsewhere. In the refusal of one man (Andi Vasluianu of Youth Without Youth [+see also:
film profile]) to face reality; who rather than accepting it hides behind a story of political intrigues and conspiracies. And the harshness of the society surrounding him.
The film “speaks of indifference, lack of compassion”, said Gruzsniczki of his debut feature. The filmmaker previously worked as AD on Lucian Pintilie’s Niki and Flo. Produced by Vivi Drăgan Vasile for Fundatia Arte Vizuale, The Other Irina will be released in Romania in September by Transilvania Film. International sales are handled by Libra Film.
(Translated from Italian)
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