Periferic / Outbound (Romania/AT, 2010)

directed by Bogdan George Apetri, drama, 87 min, eng subtitles

with Ana Ularu, Ioana Flora, Andi Vasluianu, Mimi Brãnescu, Timotei Duma




Taking to the streets, Matilda has twenty-four hours to make everything right - or wrong, depending on how you look at it.

Trapped in a five-year prison sentence for a crime she didn't commit, Matilda has already spent two years behind bars and has no intention of serving any more. Given a day pass for her mother's funeral, she's got a lot to make up for and very little time to do it in. Outbound, she hits her targets one by one; she visits her brother, buries her mother and collects on a debt from a casual lover. Final destination: a cargo ship and the open sea. But first she must contend with the responsibility closest to her heart.

Parenthood appears to be an afterthought in Matilda's frantic dash for freedom, but first-time feature director Bogdan George Apetri has set this up intentionally. A mother never turns her back on her offspring and it turns out that Matilda had a plan all along.

Working with an all-star writing team - Tudor Voican (California Dreamin'), Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) and Ioana Uricaru (Tales from the Golden Age) - Apetri orchestrates a cataclysmic road race led by an inscrutable heroine, all the more compelling for keeping her thoughts hermetically sealed. Her child-like demeanour is a direct contrast to her criminal record, but there's still beauty in this fiery gamine.


Locarno IFF 2010 (Ana Ularu - Prix Boccalino de la Presse - the Swiss press award for Best Actress)