Romanian Cinematheque’s Crime Season Ends with 'Police, Adjective', A Sour Moral Tale Masterfully Crafted

14/05/2015 @ RCI London

The last film in our Romanian Cinematheque’s Crime Season is 'Police, Adjective' (2009), written and directed by celebrated helmer Corneliu Porumboiu. The film is a superbly directed and acted meditation on moral choice torn between the imperatives of law, the logic of bureaucratic authority and the personal sense of justice.

The production, shot in Porumboiu’s depressing home town of Vaslui, follows a banal case of hashish possession. Three teenagers, a girl and two boys are smoking dope in the square of a neighborhood school. Cristi, played by award-winning actor Dragoș Bucur, is a young police detective who’s chasing them. Cristi's superiors demand that one of the schoolboys is arrested, even though the investigations have not yielded any valuable information. Entirely devoted to his job, Cristi is discontented about putting kids away for little drug possession.


'The calmness and attention for detail with which Porumboiu shows Cristi’s investigation underline the futility of his actions. The film reveals in simple scenes the complex moral dimensions of an average police investigation'. (International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010)


Romania 2009/ 115 min/ Produced by: 42 KM Film/ Distributed by Artificial Eye/ In Romanian with English subtitles


Corneliu Porumboiu was born in 1975 in Vaslui, eastern Romania. He studied film in Bucharest and received his degree in 2003. In his first feature film, '12:08 East of Bucharest', Porumboiu offers a very humorous view of Romania’s 1989 revolution. The film was presented in Cannes at the Directors’ Fortnight in 2006 and won the Caméra d’Or prize. His second feature, 'Police, Adjective', was selected for Cannes Festival’s Un Certain Regard section in 2009 and was crowned with the Jury Prize and the Fipresci Prize. This year, Corneliu Porumboiu’s most recent film, 'The Treasure', is also presented at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.

'Porumboiu’s characters are in transition, irresolute and alienated seeking strength and security through grammar, laws and beliefs With a modest wink, Porumboiu surreptitiously strings together the absurdities, frustration, fruitless struggles and small events of daily existence into his own unexpectedly revelatory cinematic language. Porumboiu’s films keep a certain distance, not too close, not too faraway, just enough for critical surveillance of characters moving around one another, in a dislocated time and space'. (Brittany Gravely and David Pendleton)


When:  14 May, 7pm
Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X8PH.
Admission is free and the seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Please confirm your attendance at eventbrite.