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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Аферим!" )

 

directed by Radu Jude
Romania/Bulgaria/Czech Republic/France 2015

 

Engaged by boyar Iordache Cīndescu (Alexandru Dabija) to track down runaway Romany slave Carfin Pandolean (Toma Cuzin), Constable Constandin (Teodor Corban, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS) drags his son Ionita (Mihai Comanoiu) across 1830's Wallachia hoping to make a man of him and hopefully get him a military post. As they travel across the countryside on horseback, Constandin's molding of his son into an adulthood takes the form of instilling his own prejudices into Ionita about the gypsies - or "crows" as he calls them for their, having witnessed on more than one occasion in the old days his master going "hunting" and shooting his slaves out of trees - the Ottomans who still had some influence in the area, and his Russian military rulers. The only counterargument to Constandin's assertion that the gypsies are Satan's spawn comes from a priest (Alexandru Bindea, SILENT WEDDING) who has baptized the children of several of the monastery's Romany slaves, but he has his own prejudices against the Jews. Ionita wounds and captures Carfin, who claims that the boyar's wife (Luminita Gheorghiu, THE DEATH OF MISTER LAZARESCU forced herself on him and that the boyar wants to kill him. As they pass through a slave auction site to drop off Tintiric (Alberto Dinache), a child slave who ran away because of his master's cruelty, and see slaves willing to auction themselves in order to avoid starvation, Ionita sees that the sense of injustice is not lost on his father; but Constandin's conviction for the law and belief in his influence after serving faithfully for so long is such that he believes he can quite literally "soften the blow." It is a testament to director Radu Jude that he tonal shift from comic cynicism to abject horror is executed with the same sense of stylistic detachment that allows the viewer to relate to the inner devastation of the film's two leads even as they maintain their sense of professional impassivity upon exiting the film.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 22 January 2016 (USA)

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DVD Review: Big World Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Big World Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:45:28
Video

2.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Romanian/Turkish/Romany Dolby Digital 5.1; Romanian/Turkish/Romany Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Big World Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.33:1

Edition Details:
� Short film 'The Tube with a Hat' (16:9; 23:24)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:42)
� Trailer for 'Viktoria'

DVD Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12
 

 

 

 

Comments

Also available on Blu-ray HERE.

Big World Picture's dual-layer DVD sports a progressive, anamorphic encode of this 35mm-lensed feature at a mid-range bitrate - due to the length of the feature and the near half-hour bonus film - is superficially pleasing but not as detailed as one would hope. Edge enhancement is slight enough to have probably been an effect of the DVD encoding downscaling but the most pronounced texture appears not in the rustic settings and linen clothing but in the make-up designed to make Cuzin seem a bit more aged. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is retrained but comes to life during crowd scenes, as horses and carriages race across the screen's vistas, and to recede to subtler effect during the banter between father and son (a 2.0 downmix is also available). The optional subtitles do not translate a couple brief instances of Turkish, but that may be deliberate since we must rely on the protagonist's throwaway comments in Romanian to glean the content of the conversation. Extras consist of trailers for the film and the drama VIKTORIA as well as an earlier short film by director Jude. The film is also Big World Pictures' debut Blu-ray release.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Big World Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

 



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