joi, 8 iunie 2017

The Fixer, directed by Adrian Sitaru, based on a story by Claudia Silisteanu

The Fixer, directed by Adrian Sitaru, based on a story by Claudia Silisteanu

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

Fixeur is a very interesting Romanian Film.
The themes of people trafficking, ethics and journalism, forced prostitution of minors are at the core of the movie.

Among the heavy, overwhelming subjects there is some humor.
In one scene, French journalists, the Fixeur and prosecutor are in a restaurant.

This takes place in Bistrita.
Portraits of famous people born in or near the town adorn the walls.

The prosecutor is proud to show off the local extensive pool of talent:

-          Look, Rebreanu is there
The Fixeur translates and explains
Then he mentions another name- I forgot, was it Camil Petrescu?
Nevertheless, he is contradicted by the Fixeur, who identifies another famous author:
-          That is Octavian Goga...

I thought this was somewhat humorous, taking pride in local intellectuals, but confusing one with the other.
Otherwise, the narrative is a description of hell, very frequently.

The Fixeur wants to be a journalist with a foreign media outfit.
But until and in order to get that job, he is fixing interviews, meetings.

I identify with him, for I have been doing exactly that during the months following the Romanian Revolution.
Having had the chance to meet with Michael Meyer of Newsweek, James Wilde from Times, Christina Nylander from Radio Sweden and others I had the chance to translate, and be a Fixeur.

And there were challenging situations, of a different kind than those in the movie: a miners invasion, the government building was occupied...

Tudor Istodor is the good actor who plays Radu aka The Fixer and Mehdi Nebbou is also excellent as Axel, leader of the French team.

Diana Spatarescu is a debutante and I do not know how old she is, but her difficult task of portraying Anca, the abused teenager is accomplished with success.
There are mostly uneasy, embarrassing scenes that concern the little girl, who has been clearly disturbed by her experience.

When I say clearly, I do not mean an extravagant, exaggerated moaning or an over the top performance.
On the contrary, the young actress is very restrained and that helps with a more powerful message and the audience is better affected.

There is an outrageous, anticlimax moment when the Fixer (name that reminds one of a masterpiece by Bernard Malamud) is alone in the car of the prosecutor with the victim of child trafficking.
By the way, this very fact that a conversation with the press is supposed to take place in the car of the prosecutor is more than unethical and unprofessional, it could well be an illegal act and notwithstanding that it is Wrong.

In the car, all over the sudden, Anca says to Radu:

-          You want me to suck you?
-          No!! No!!
-          I know you want it!

And the young would be journalist has to push the poor, disturbed girl away, hurting her a little in the process.
Another low, could be estimated as abject moment is when Axel is making the girl repeat three times the words she knows in French

-          And they are the rudimentary exchange between a prostitute and a client, with price and offer:
-          “La pipe cinquante euros”

Variety has a laudatory review about this film.

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