As he proved with his scandalous, scathing political comedy Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (NYFF59), Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude is among the most radical filmmakers working today and one of the few unafraid to diagnose the absurd evils and moral blind spots that make contemporary living what it—unfortunately—is. In his latest film, Jude again explodes conventional boundaries of narrative and form, this time charting a lacerating course through one day in the life of a severely overworked film production assistant, Angela, who drives around Bucharest on her latest gig: filming work accident victims auditioning to be in a safety equipment video for a German multinational corporation. At the same time, the sleep-deprived Angela upkeeps her own side project—a face-filtered, trash-talking, right-wing alter ego with more than 20,000 viewers that serves as the film’s perverse Greek chorus. Intercutting all this with footage from Romanian director Lucian Bratu’s feminist 1981 film Angela Moves On, following the travels of a female cab driver around the city’s same sights and locations, Jude initiates a conversation with his country’s past and present, while engaging in a meta-commentary about the ability of the captured image to exploit, and to contort the truth. A MUBI release.
Recommended Film Comment reading:
- Guilty Pleasures: Radu Jude
- The Film Comment Podcast: Do Not Expect Too Much From the End of the World (Toronto 2023)
- Interview: Radu Jude on Scarred Hearts (2018)
Sign up to the Film Comment Letter for NYFF61 coverage and more original film criticism year-round.