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Corneliu Porumboiu, director of Police, Adjective
With S. James Snyder
I think it's interesting, that you use the word "Adjective" in the title. Obviously you're interested in this movie with what words and justice mean, and what it means to preserve order.
I do have an obsession with words. When I was writing the script, I tried to be quite precise with the words, and I started to think of this subject when I heard a story about how this brother betrayed another brother on a case of hashish. I asked myself: Why would they do this? And so I envisioned this police officer who writes out these reports every day, following the rules, but then starts to see it different day after day. He starts to see reality, and these words he's writing, in a different way. How do we represent our own reality? At the end of the world, is it all about a dictionary or a bible? I don't know.
When you say "dictionary or Bible," you mean the difference between words and morals? You seem very focused on this issue in the film, of what it means to be a good person in your own heart, versus a good member of society.
In my first film, 12:08 East of Bucharest, I was very curious about the definition of revolution: what does that really mean, in terms of in the moment? And I think there's a parallel here, in my interest of what's best for the state versus the individual. For me, it's an issue. After the revolution, I think the state is more important than the individual, in the end, it's more important to be concerned for the good of all the individuals. My films definitely deal with this issue of what's best for society; it's not so simple.
Why do you think there are so many captivating films springing out of Romania lately? What's inspired you? What have you been waiting for?
I think it's quite complex actually, because there was a time when cinema was a big propaganda tool for the communists and it held people back. But a lot of people wanted to make films, and now they finally can, and I think this is why you see this hyperrealism in so many of our movies, trying to show reality as it really is and not some propaganda version of reality. Many of the characters in our movies are regular people, dealing with real issues that people confront in real life. I think so many of us want to make movies that finally tell the world what we're facing.