Cannes: Transylvanian-set ‘MRI’ investigates a pervasive crisis

Cristian Mungiu’s “RMN” entry at the Cannes Film Festival is set in an unnamed mountain village in Transylvania in Romania, but the conflicts of ethnocentrism, racism and nationalism that permeate the multiethnic city could take place almost anywhere.

Of all the films competing for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, none can be as current as “NMR” The film, using a Romanian microcosm, captures the battles between us and them that have unfolded across Europe. and beyond, where immigration and national identities clashed.

Mungiu, the famous Romanian filmmaker of the iconic 2007 abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”, has long been accustomed to his films being dismissed as gloomy portraits of a distant Eastern Europe. It’s a caricature he rejects, especially when it comes to “NMR”

“Whenever journalists interpret that it’s another gloomy picture of this country again, well, it’s not about that country, or not just that country,” Mungiu told reporters on Sunday. “It’s good to check your own elections in your own countries.”

When a local bakery that needs workers – most of the men in the city have gone abroad to look for work – hires a few Sri Lankan men, the already complicated mix of ethnicities in a Romanian village – Romanian, Hungarian and German – becomes more and more volatile.

But “RMN,” which presents a powerful 17-minute single shot of a controversial city meeting, mocks from the outset the question of who exactly is an outsider and who can define the tradition. In the end, even the bears in the village could say theirs.

“What’s the tradition? We do something because someone did it before. But why exactly do we do this?” Mungiu said, “If you dig deep, it’s a way to fight your fear of something. It’s a way to unleash these violent impulses that you have.”

“I’m sorry to say this, but we are a very, very violent kind of animal. And we need very, very little to identify one enemy as another, “Mungiu added.” You can see this today in the war in Ukraine. “


Follow AP screenwriter Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP


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Cannes: Transylvanian-set ‘MRI’ investigates a pervasive crisis

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