New 35mm print! Cinematographer Florin Mihăilescu in person! Screening as part of our Alexandru Tatos Retrospective.

Decades before The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu, Tatos offered his own scabrous assessment of the Romanian healthcare system with this bold and invigorating debut feature about an idealistic doctor at odds with a bureaucratic industry. Young and brilliant and unwilling to compromise his principles, urology surgeon Mitica (Mircea Diaconu) is fast becoming the star of his provincial hospital—a status that creates increasing tension with his cautious, by-the-book hospital chief, who sense Mitica trying to steal his thunder, and possibly his job. But Mitica says he’s just a noble servant trying to do an honest day’s work without any thought of personal gain, and the conflict that ensues sheds a revealing light on the deeply embedded social corruption of the Ceaușescu era.

Alexandru Tatos Retrospective

A towering figure of Romanian cinema, and a key influence on the directors of the recent “new wave,” Alexandru Tatos (1937-1990) made his directing debut in 1976 with the politically charged medical drama Red Apples, about a brilliant and idealistic young surgeon refusing to conform to the accepted compromises of a corrupt system. Over the next 15 years, Tatos would bring that same iconoclastic touch to a broad range of historical dramas and one of the most revealing films ever made about the filmmaking process itself (Sequences). In the words of the critic Manuela Cernat, “Where Tatos excels with unparalleled gusto is the movie with few characters and the minimum narrative elements, on which he capitalizes with the utmost ingeniousness, matchlessly blending lyricism and sarcasm, and displaying an unusually keen sense of true-to-life psychological and environmental details.” We are thrilled to include this special program of three of Tatos’ greatest films as part of this year’s Making Waves festival.