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The Death Of Mr Lazarescu Review

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Mr Larescu, a 63 year old who lives with his cats, takes ill one night, and must suffer the inadequacies of a health system at breaking point.

★★★★

The inaugural picture in a series entitled ’Six Stories From the Bucharest Suburbs’, this Cannes prize-winner is an inner-city road movie that follows an ailing 63 year-old on his fateful journey around the Romanian capital’s hospitals. Director Cristi Puiu scrutinises everything from professional arrogance to red tape, as Ion Fiscuteanu’s widower is doubted, discredited and dismissed by doctors of varying seniority.

Exposing the incompetence of the Romanian health service, this is an acerbic satire. Yet it isn’t without its moments of compassion, as Puiu is as much concerned with society’s growing inability to communicate as he is with hospital politics and the dehumanising consequences of bureaucracy.

Long, but engrossing and frequently enraging drama that not only exposes the flaws in the Romanian health service, but also in modern humanity.

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