The story: Cornelia, a middle-aged high society architect, is informed by her sister-in-law that her son Barbu has killed a child in a traffic accident, and both immediately proceed to the police station where he is being held for questioning. They barge into the interrogation, all the while phoning useful contacts, and manage to change Barbu’s statement, after which they take him back to his parent’s house. In the following days, Cornelia develops various schemes to get Barbu off the hook of a trial, receiving unexpected support from Barbu’s wife (or girl-friend) Carmen, even though they thoroughly hate each other.
The accident itself is not the main story. It serves as a backdrop for highlighting the blatant disregard of the rich for the poor, the pervasiveness of corruption in Romanian society, and to illustrate how possessive and self-serving Cornelia is. Most screen time is devoted to Barbu’s ‘cutting of the post-natal umbilical cord’, his sometimes desperate, mostly half-hearted attempts to gain independence from his overprotective mother. Continue reading