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Malmkrog - Directed by Cristi Puiu

Malmkrog is a 2020 internationally co-produced drama film directed by Cristi Puiu. It was shown in the Encounters section at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, where it also won the Best Director Award.

Genre: history, drama

Original Language: French (France)

Director: Cristi Puiu

Producer: Anca Puiu, Lucian Pintilie, Milan Stojanovic, Dan Wechsler, Jamal Zeinal Zade, Andreas Roald, Jörgen Andersson, Kjell Åhlund, Peter Possne

Runtime: 3h 21m

Production Co: Bord Cadre Films, Film i Väst, cinnamon filmproduktion GbR, Mandragora, Sister and Brother Mitevski

There's something nourishing about the film that makes you want to go straight back for more.” - David Jenkins

"Puiu makes hilarious comedies at which I never once laugh, and this is among his bleakest and blackest farces." - Keith Uhlich

A landowner, a politician, a countess, a General and his wife gather in a spacious manor house and discuss death, war, progress and morality. As time passes by, the discussion becomes more serious and heated.

Peter Bradshaw:

Cristi Puiu’s fourth film makes a virtue of high seriousness as guests at a country house discuss God, man, warfare and evil. Cristi Puiu is the film-maker who spearheaded Romanian new wave 15 years ago with his brilliant The Death of Mr Lazarescu, and then five years later with his dauntingly opaque existential drama Aurora, and after that the strange Sieranevada – the intimate study of a family gathered to honour the death of a father. These realist dramas, considered together, were intelligibly the product of one film-maker in a recognisable – if difficult – style. Ten years ago, in fact, Puiu was talking about a projected “suite” of six such tales, and these appeared to be the first three.

His new feature, however, could not be more different. It is an almost impossibly stark, austere, cerebral and verbose film, running at three hours and 20 minutes, populated by the leisured classes of a distant age. Almost a sequence of theatrical tableaux, it is set in a grand country house in Transylvania at the end of the 19th century and inspired by – rather than conventionally adapted from – the Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov’s 1915 text War and Christianity: Three Conversations. This is a film of formidable and almost intimidating seriousness, which is admirable and refreshing in its way, but it does not make many concessions to anything as vulgar as entertainment or even drama (as that might be vulgarly conceived).


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