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The Whistlers

Corneliu Porumboiu
La Gomera
Romania, France, Germany, Sweden 2019 / 97’
The Halt Tommaso

Corneliu Porumboiu, one of the most important directors of the Romanian New Wave, shows us once again his passion for experimentation. Presented in the main competition at the Cannes Festival, The Whistlers begins like a classic, dark detective story only to quickly shift into the realm of auteur cinema. The main protagonist is a corrupt police officer (Vlad Ivanov), who comes to the island of La Gomera to take care of some murky business. In order to follow the rules of the conspiracy, he has to master the local whistling language known as silbo. As if that weren’t enough, a phenomenal femme fatale named Gilda (Catrinel Marlon, who you may recall from Garrone’s Tale of Tales) appears in the life of our protagonist. In The Whistlers, pastiche levity is juxtaposed with philosophical reflection, in this case concerning the nature of language and means of communication between people. As an added attraction, the film features numerous allusions to classic Hollywood movies that will certainly not escape the attention of seasoned viewers.

Piotr Czerkawski

Corneliu Porumboiu

Born in Vaslui, Romania, in 1975, Corneliu Porumboiu studied Economics in Bucharest. He is recognized as one of the leading figures in so-called new Romanian cinema. His first film,  12:08 East of Bucharest, won a Golden Camera at Cannes in 2006.His subsequent films have captured numerous awards at festivals all over the world.

Selected filmography

2006 12:08 na wschód od Bukaresztu / A fost sau n-a fost? / 12:08 East of Bucharest

2009 Policjant, przymiotnik / Politist, adjectiv / Police, Adjective

2013 Când se lasă seara peste Bucureşti sau metabolism / When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism

2014 Al doilea joc / The Second Game (doc.)

2015 Skarb / Comoara / The Treasure

Cast & Crew

director Corneliu Porumboiu
screenplay Corneliu Porumboiu
cinematography Tudor Mircea
editing Roxana Szel
cast Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Agustí Villaronga
producer Patricia Poienaru, Marcela Ursu
production 42 Km Film, Komplizen Film, Les Films du Worso
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language Romanian, English, Spanish
colouration colour