Cannes 2024 – Three kilometers to the end of the world: too marked [critique]

For his appearance in competition, Romanian filmmaker Emanuel Parvu signs a drama about homophobia in his country. The result is unfortunately far too conventional.

Romanian cinema is blowing on the embers of an apocalypse. The country is still swimming in the memory of a not so distant time when the communist dictatorship put men and ideas under wraps. And since we cannot be cured in a day, all contemporary Romanian cinema works to film a vitiated society, corrupted to the core and therefore to the point of absurdity. Don't expect too much from the end of the world Radu Jude warned us last year with his comedy “what's the fuck” which portrayed an urban and chaotic Romania. And today, Emanuel Parvu offers us to accompany him on Three kilometers to the end of the world. The filmmaker, in competition for the first time, has created a provincial thriller that is as relentless as its title is clever. In Tulcea, a small town located on the banks of the Danube delta where these three kilometers are located, the population is harnessed to the weight of traditions, whether religious or political. Everyone places their morality where they want it. Therefore, what can a young 17-year-old boy with a future in the navy do if he is, to use a police euphemism, “ in the other camp » ? Adi, that's his name, likes boys. In Romania, homosexuality was decriminalized barely twenty years ago and more is obviously needed for the law to conform to morals. As a result, from the first ten minutes of the film, the teenager's face will have the appearance of that of a boxer.

Emanuel Parvu spares his small effect with a staging of studied precision (the frame stronger than the characters) then unfolds his vitriolic portrait of a retrograde Romania. Down here, the cops are corrupt and the notables are bastards. Big deal! Meanwhile, Adi says nothing (or almost), muzzled by severely narrow-minded parents, a plump priest quick to exorcise the lost sheep. We believed for a time that Emmanuel Parvu was going to get involved in the farce. What he does for the duration of a shot, before backing away. He prefers to create a more or less artificial suspense over the possible emancipation of his young hero. One last look at his swollen face, a reflection of the shame of an entire country, and the hero can step out of the frame. Will Adi manage to take a boat and head down the Danube in pursuit of his destiny? We obviously wish him the best. It's the least we can do.

3 kilometers to the end of the world. By Emanuel Parvu. Int. Bodgan Dumitrache, Ciprian Chiujdea, Laura Vasiliu… Duration: 1h45.


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