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LOCARNO 2010 Competition / Romania

Outbound: Matilda’s 24 hours of freedom

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Matilda – played by Ana Ularu, a nervy beauty who starred in The Paper Will Be Blue and a serious contender for the Best Actress Leopard – is rewarded for good behaviour with a day’s release from prison to attend her mother’s funeral. “What did you expect? Hugs and kisses? If you have come for money, we don’t have any,” her brother can be heard saying, who leaves the dirty job of throwing Matilda out to his wife.

Outbound [+see also:
trailer
interview: Ana Ularu
film profile
]
by Bogdan George Apetri (second Romanian title in competition, after Morgen) is an account, a sort of unrelenting catalogue, of the humiliations of today’s society (and we’re not only speaking about those of the Romanians) likely to restrain women.

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Consisting of three distinct chapters named after, not randomly, three men – her brother Andrei, her estranged ex-lover Paul and her son Toma, the film chronicles Matilda’s 24 hours of freedom. Not too keen on returning to life behind bars Matilda has made up her mind to run away, but first she needs money – which leads her on a humiliating human journey, where violence, prostitution and paedophilia are the order of the day.

It’s not a consolation but with a screenplay co-written by Apetri and Tudor Volcan, whose solid flow – though perhaps a tad well-trodden – takes us through the moral ruins. Until the arrival of the lost and found son that is, which lends a touch of tenderness that seems to ease the sorrow (the original idea is adapted from Cristi Mungiu, and it’s obvious). As young as he is, Toma is also a man, who understands how bad the world really is. In a painful ending he also makes Matilda understand this. And to the audience, who is a fan of her and perhaps because of this would prefer to see her back in prison rather than in this world of misery.

Produced by Alexandru Teodorescu for Saga Film, in co-production with Austrian outfit Aichholzer Filmproduktion, Periferic [+see also:
trailer
interview: Ana Ularu
film profile
]
is being distributed worldwide through MK2.

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(Translated from Italian)

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