Like this podcast? rabble is listener-supported journalism. Chip in to keep piece like this coming.
Adrian and I talked about his new film The Fixer, journalism, abuse, slavery, human behaviour and why sometimes compassion is not enough.
The Fixer recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. For more information about TIFF, go here.
Watch the trailer.
A headline-grabbing sex scandal gives a Romanian trainee at a French news network an opportunity for his big break, in this charged moral drama from Romanian director Adrian Sitaru.
At the heart of The Fixer lies a cautionary moral tale. On the surface a realist procedural in the vein of the Dardenne brothers, Adrian Sitaru's film is imbued with the signature minimalist approach of the Romanian new wave. Using journalism as his lens, Sitaru asks us to reflect on how far we're willing to go, and who we're willing to hurt, to get ahead in a competitive world.
Romanian-born Radu Patru (Tudor Istodor) is a trainee at a prestigious French news network. Serving as a translator and general problem solver, or "fixer," for the headlining journalists during his trial period, he's looking to make his big break. He sees his opportunity when two underage Romanian prostitutes are repatriated from France, creating an international scandal. Taking advantage of his language skills and local connections, Radu is prepared to do whatever it takes to interview one of the young girls. But as he ventures into tricky moral ground, he must stop to ask himself if, as an aspiring journalist, he can live with the consequences of his actions, and if, as a father, he's setting a good example for his son.
Though the imposing buildings and socio-economic policies of Romania's communist past loom over Sitaru's characters, universal themes firmly anchor The Fixer in the present. Claudia and Adrian Silisteanu's intelligent script uses engaging conversations and telling interactions -- both inside and adjacent to the film's central narrative -- to paint a fulsome picture of Radu's world. Naturalistic performances, combined with a desaturated colour palette and fluid hand-held photography, add to the film's authentic feel.
Exploring rich moral ground, Sitaru seamlessly connects themes of fatherhood, journalism ethics, and the class politics of contemporary Europe. Sitaru never preaches to his audience, instead inviting us, along with his characters, to make our own conclusions.
Adrian Sitaru was born in Deva, Romania. He has directed several features for television and short films. His debut feature, Hooked, screened at the Festival.
His other films include Domestic and Illegitimate.
For more information about my podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit my site here.
With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.