Rebellious and penniless, teenage Petre reaches out to his older brother Andrei, a wealthy and established actor. Holding out a helping hand, Andrei takes Petre under his wing and the two reconnect over unrequited parental love and clash on duty and responsibility. As expected, the warm confines of Andrei’s plush apartment prove stifling, and it’s not long before Petre’s outgoing nature brings him into amorous contact with Dara, one of his brother’s female admirers. As virtue and emotional avarice come into conflict over their shared love interest, fraternal bonds will break, with devastating effect.
Veering further away from the rigorous psychological formalism of his previous film, Meandre, 100 Lei plays out like a balletic interplay between psychological dreamstates and chamber-drama realism. Mircea Săucan’s collaboration with the effervescent Dan Nutu, Romania’s answer to James Dean, gives way to an improvised naturalism rarely witnessed in Romanian cinema – insulated by Anatol Vieru’s haunting electroacoustic score. All the more reasons for which 100 Lei would prove to be Săucan’s last film: heavily censored, the authorities burned the original negative (reportedly at the behest of none other than Elena Ceausescu) and Săucan would suffer a breakdown and his producer a heart attack Beno Merovici following their repeated persecution at the hands of the state.
EUROPALIA ROMANIA is proud to present a recently restored, uncensored version of one of Romanian cinema’s most visionary films.
Subtitles: NL - EN
Directed by: Mircea Săucan