Fifth about The Seventh

The Oak (Balanța / Le Chêne)

The Oak: there is almost an overflow of anarchic energy in Lucian Pintilie’s satirical film. Understandably so, as the protagonist is dealing not only with the recent death of her father but also with the upcoming death of the dictatorial regime that ruled Romania for decades. The film is not gentle, throwing rocks at basically everyone, but particularly at those in power during that regime. There’s not much of a story, as the film navigates from vignette to vignette as a way to showcase the almost hellish landscape. Maia Morgenstern is OK as the young woman running from her past, but the film belongs to Razvan Vasilescu as the irreverent, cheeky, talented young doctor. Aesthetically, the film is messy, and that’s by design; the cinematography (by Doru Mitran) and editing (by Victorita Nae) are two of the sources of the film’s forementioned energy.

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