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THE FOREST OF THE HANGED

Romania, 1965 (MIFF 1966, Programme A)

Director: Liviu Ciulei

The book on which this film is based was written by the Rumanian author Liviu Rebreanu in memory of his brother, who actually experienced the drama portrayed. The film is set towards the end of the First World War somewhere on the Austro-Hungarian front, in Transylvania, where the Rumanian artillery lieutenant, Apostol Bologa, becomes involved in the court martial which sentences the Czech Svoboda, a deserter, to be hanged. The story tells of Bologa's realization of war's effect on man. Although the impact is somewhat lessened by the complicated plot, the theme is a potent one, and the film is well thought out with some exemplary performances, and taut direction.

Liviu Ciulei, the director, also acts the part of Klapka in the film. He has previously been represented at a Melbourne Festival with The Danube Flows to the Sea. For his latest film, he received the Award for the Best Direction from the Cannes Festival.

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