Saturday, January 31, 2009

THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (Cristi Puiu, 2006, Romania) Michael Moore wants socialized healthcare, so check out this film to see how well it really works! This Romanian film was #8 in my Top Ten of 2006. Mr. Lazarescu is an old lonely man who gets sick one night and calls an ambulance. The paramedics then spend the entire night taking him from hospital to hospital trying to find help. Most of the healthcare “professionals” are lazy, indifferent, judgmental, downright rude or truly overworked and don’t have time to spare. Director Cristi Puiu creates an intimate film by getting the camera into small spaces and up close and personal with the characters, making this seem like a documentary. As the night drags on we feel the terror and hopelessness of our protagonist and know (like he must) that it is not going to end well. Sad and bleak but spiked with humor, this overlooked gem is definitely worth your time. (B+)

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