The Cage

The Cage

***1/2

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

An injured bird brought into a home. A family, and their reaction. It's a small intrusion into a household, one that feels authentic. This isn't quite the kitchen sink but it's an excellent piece of Romanian domestic drama.

Writer/director Adrian Sitaru has a few shorts to his credit, some television, and a single feature. He's got an ear for dialogue, that mixture of familiarity and surprise that conversations between couples develop when routines are broken. More importantly for a subtitled film, it's a sense that survives translation. Adrian Titieni and Clara Voda as the parents have worked together before, in Sitaru's earlier short Waves - they go well together, working even better with Vlad Voda as the boy tending to the wounded dove.

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Good intentions abound, consequences too. It's tightly shot, a similar intimacy to Police, Adjective, that sense of the closely observed. Clara's performance as Ica is vital, though at times her role is to foreground the attempts at father-son bonding. Also seen at EIFF in If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle, she's further proof that Romania is lucky enough to have film-making talent for either side of the camera. Away from the festival circuit, foreign language shorts are relatively difficult to track down, but regular readers of Eye For Film will be familiar with that lament. It might be a little premature to suggest that the relevant production company or Cultural Ministry collect them in a convenient DVD, but with work of this quality one can only hope. Though in places its sense of inevitability risks the feel of predictability, it still manages to surprise. The Cage is a film you should try to catch, even if it is a little hard to track down.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2010
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A son brings home an injured dove.
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Director: Adrian Sitaru

Writer: Adrian Sitaru

Starring: Adrian Titieni, Clara Voda, Vlad Voda

Year: 2009

Runtime: 17 minutes

Country: Romania, Netherlands

Festivals:

EIFF 2010
Glasgow 2011

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