Today on the Film at Lincoln Center Podcast we’re featuring a conversation on Collective, now playing in our Virtual Cinema, with director Alexander Nanau and FLC’s Deputy Executive Director, Eugene Hernandez.
A New Directors/New Films 2020 selection and the Romanian entry for the Best International Feature Film at next year’s 93rd Academy Awards, Collective begins as a seeming exposé into a tragic accident and gradually turns into something deeper and more shocking in this revelatory documentary about state neglect.
In October 2015, a devastating fire broke out at the Bucharest nightclub Colectiv, killing 27 people that night; in the following weeks, while the country was still reeling, nearly 40 more people who had suffered burns and other injuries died in hospital. As the film begins, newspaper journalists are investigating the suspicious reasons how this could possibly have happened—the beginning of a search for truth that uncovers an increasing litany of misappropriations, malfeasance, and lies, from medical officials to corrupt pharmaceutical company owners. With astonishing access, director Alexander Nanau follows the trail of evidence surrounding the incident along with the film’s journalists and the newly installed Minister of Health, creating a universally relatable nonfiction thriller that uncovers the depths of governmental corruption.