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PHILANTHROPY

Director: NAE CARANFIL

GERMANY-U.S.A.-FRANCE-CUBA • 1999 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 105 MIN


Although an older and more established figure than his fellow directors represented in this season, Nae Caranfil provides one of the most incisive portraits of modern Romanian society in this entertaining black comedy about how the new freedoms are providing a field day for scam artists. Pushing 40, Ovidiu (Mircea Diaconu) teaches literature at a school for rich kids but draws such a small wage that he still lives with his parents. The ambitious but naive teacher has literary ambitions of his own but is distracted by the allure of the gorgeous young Diana (Viorica Voda), whose expensive tastes could lead to his financial ruin. In desperation, Ovidiu turns to Pepe (Gheorghe Dinica), an affable shark who heads a bogus foundation called ‘Filantropica’, which runs a series of scams operated by an army of Bucharest beggars and con artists. Consistently funny, superbly acted and filmed with great fluency, Caranfil’s biting satire sends up the internationally promulgated cliche of post- Ceausescu Romania as a land of beggars, orphans, stray dogs and crumbling infrastructure.
Director Nae Caranfil will introduce his film.


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