Politist, adjectiv

Politist, adjectiv

Police, adjective

DVD - 2011 | Romanian
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Cristi is a young undercover cop who undergoes a crisis of conscience when he is pressured to arrest a teenager who offers hash to classmates. Not wanting to ruin the life of a young man he considers merely irresponsible, Cristi must either allow the arrest to weigh on his conscience or face censure by his serious superior, for whom the word 'conscience' has an entirely different meaning.
Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Kimstim, [2011]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (115 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet ([8] pages : color illustrations ; 19 cm.)
Alternative Title: Police, adjective


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Dec 27, 2014

Cristi is a diligent police detective who’s been keeping tabs on Victor, a highschool student, as part of an ongoing drug investigation. Even though he’s observed the young man and his two friends regularly smoking pot, he’s convinced they are simply casual users and not hardened dealers. When his commander wishes to round the kids up in a sting operation Cristi objects, stating that the resultant criminal record will ruin an innocent boy’s life over something that is fast becoming legal throughout Europe anyway. Thus begins a war of words, quite literally, as the impatient commander challenges Cristi’s ethical objections. Porumboiu’s scathing look at bureaucracy and the moral apathy it creates is both relentless and marvelously understated. Composed of long static shots it conveys the meticulous tedium of a police stakeout and then compares it to the half second it takes for a commanding desk jockey to decide upon an ill-advised course of action. Along the way we are treated to prolonged scenes of paper shufflers going in and out of doors, stamping endless piles of documents or staring transfixed before computer monitors while engaging in the most mundane arguments. Everyone around Cristi seems to be overly concerned with spelling and syntax yet no one pays much attention to deeper meanings; while his wife argues with him over the words to a silly love song, his commander attacks his “moral objections” by consulting a Romanian dictionary as if it were a sacred tome. And in one of the film’s more sardonic moments, Cristi’s partner pores over a stack of newspaper titles looking for one he hasn’t read yet eventually muttering, “Let’s see what ‘The Truth’ has to say...”. In short, Porumboiu offers up an angry look at the plight of a conscientious objector caught up in a world of unquestioned rules and regulations. He wants to be an instrument of action and change, a “verb”, but instead finds himself pressured to assume the role of a passive descriptor. Will Cristi, whose name is a variation of “Christ”, triumph in the end or become a simple betrayer? Police, Adjective is a bitter polemic delivered with such low-keyed finesse that you’ll hardly even notice Porumboiu has ripped Romanian administration a new butthole.

Jan 09, 2014

This is a terribly slow but brilliant movie. Hardly anything happens at first. The momentum builds slowly until right at the end, it all comes together. I also agree with the comments of stromkonsultburnaby

Nov 23, 2011

I thought it was very effectively done, showing both the intensity and the tedium of police stakeouts. The main character, Cristi, is almost always on camera. The long takes and the slow pace of the editing become almost hypnotic, drawing us into his world. I don't think I'd like to live in Vaslui (also the home town of the filmmaker) but the movie provides a powerful two-hour visit.

Nov 18, 2011

I thought the story was going to go somewhere, but was wrong. Maybe that was the point, to mirror the attitudes, frustrations and bleak realities living in the current state of Romania. A very well done downer.


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