Sunday, August 12, 2007

Good Movie

The other day I was looking in the "Film Festival" collection at BlockBuster and saw the title "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu." The cover art features an empty hospital stretcher with a bunch of cats on it.

It's the story of how a poor Romanian alcoholic (and cat lover) dies one lonely evening. He has a headache, has been throwing up since the morning, and calls for an ambulance late into the night. The responder on the other end of the phone asks if he's been drinking, and he admits he has, and his request for help is thus more or less ignored. As the evening wears on, the poor man eventually gets an ambulance, but nevertheless descends into bureaucratic hell trying to get the care he needs.

As it's a foreign film it's subtitled (and it took me a while to get used to their font choice) and starts off quite slow, but once I was accustomed to the pace I was riveted. It's a compelling, brunt sketch of the human condition, and I'd highly recommend it. Its gritty verisimilitude moved me.

Here's the US Catholic Bishops' enthused review of the film, and Rotten Tomatoes also gives it a 93% rating.

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