LAZARESCU / THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU
Caligari: 09.04. / 2.30 pm
Dante Remus Lazarescu, aged 63, lives on a meagre pension in a drab block of flats. His wife is dead, his daughter has emigrated to Canada, he quarrels with his sister Eva whenever they meet, and he owes money to her husband Virgil. His life centres around three cats, one TV set and mastropol, the strong drink of the poor. One evening, after being plagued all day by headaches and nausea, he realizes he is getting worse, not better. In his distress before the repeatedly called ambulance finally arrives, he seeks help from his neighbours. Like most of the people he encounters that night, however, they condescendingly offer him only what they call good advice. At last the nurse Mioara arrives, and decides the ailing man has to go into hospital. And so begins a humiliating odyssey from one clinic to the next. None of them have space – or time – for Mr. Lazarescu. The fact that his breath reeks of alcohol makes him a second-class citizen for the doctors. Only Mioara pleads for him and for the human dignity to which even alcoholics are entitled. During their nerve-racking tour of local hospitals she argues with her arrogant and cynical superiors. And Lazarescu’s condition deteriorates from ward to ward... Shot in documentary style with a superb cast, Cristi Pujus’ second feature film produces mounting unease in the viewer on the strength of its precise observations and true-to-life script.