Bucharest, the urban middle class, people who did well in the course of the economic transformation: a couple attend a wake for a patriarch's death, but nothing in the ceremony goes according to plan. As friends and family wait for the priest, old secrets and personal differences come to the fore. Sieranevada is a penetrating vivisection of a family, a diagnosis of its condition, reflection on the daily lies and half-truths that corrode it from the inside. But it is also a poignant vision of a society bereft of real relationships. Cristi Puiu is one of the fathers of the Romanian New Wave, along with Cristian Mungiu, whose The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005) took top honors at the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. A decade later, the director remains true to this realist style. His new films plays out almost in real-time. Barbu Balasoiu's camera tries to keep up with the characters, crowds into the stifling hallway of a tiny socialist apartment building, and is equally lost in reality's bustle as the protagonists themselves. The cinematography, lack of music, and production design all add to the sense of claustrophobia and makeshift nature of the world being recreated by Puiu. They make the emptiness and emotional confinement hurt even more.
Starting with his 2001 debut, Stuff and Dough, Romanian director and screenwriter Cristi Puiu has examined social change in Romania after the downfall of communism. He gained renown with the film The Death of Mr.Lazarescu, winner of the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, followed by, among other films, the spectacular and three-hour-long Aurora.
2001 Towar i kasa / Marfa si banii / Stuff and Dough
2005 Śmierć pana Lazarescu / Moartea domnului Lazarescu / The Death of Mister Lazarescu
2013 Trzy etiudy / Trois exercices d'interprétation / Three Exercises of Interpretation