News from the Locarno Festival

Premio speciale della giuria: INIMI CICATRIZATE – Radu Jude

Concorso internazionale

Radu Jude



There’s nothing crueler, more irrecoverable and tragically epic than a death that comes too soon and viciously, in a body that is consumed by the claws of a monster which is visible only in the wounds it causes. At age 29, Max Blecher wrote Inimi cicatrizate (Scarred Hearts), shortly before his own death after 10 years of a painful battle he knew to be a losing one from the onset. It’s a merciless and at the same time sweet story of a long agony captured in 1937, ignoring – visually and narratively – everything that is about to happen (and happening) in Europe and Romania and showing it only through the story of Emanuel (Max’s cinematic alter ego), an unrelenting metaphor. The protagonist’s disease is the epidemic of pain about to attack a continent which feigns ignorance in everyday life, while aware in every move it makes of what is to come, the terminal disease that will make the known world gangrenous. Just like that small world of patients in the Black Sea sanatorium that takes center stage in this extraordinary film that makes us fall in love with suffering and death, because the vitality these men impose on their minds is a hymn to humanity that goes beyond surviving a villainous sickness like bone tuberculosis. The beds are trenches, the scenes of pain are bombs, and there’s a great war embodied by the stance against the disease. With some moments of negligible happiness, so as to not give in. Radu Jude delivers a masterpiece that avoids rhetoric and patterns, which it nonetheless courts only to betray them with format and colors, to talk about everything. About us, then and now.  


Boris Sollazzo

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