Occident (2002) Script

Luci and Sorina.

Be careful!

So, have they given you the money?

Not yet. They will in two or three weeks.

Two or three weeks!

It's already been 2 months! What do you have to lose, anyway?

You go there for an interview.

Our director spoke with the guy, and it's going to be fine.

Fine my ass! He'll ask me: "Why do you want to be an ad agent?"

And what do I say: "I don't know what an ad agent does."

They'll tell you! And at least you'll be paid.

Don't you want to get away from this place?

What the fuck have they done?

Wait here!

God damn you!

Hey, how dare you move my stuff out without even telling me?

Is he the guy that bribed you to let him move in to my place?

Hey, how do you think you're talking to, my bro?

Uncle Emil, come here!

Stinking thieves!

You fucking son of a bitch, don't you swear or I'll come after you!

Let him be, Uncle Emil.

What now? You'll miss this place or what?

We'll manage, somehow... We'll manage.

You say that every time! I'm sick of it!

We'll move all this to Aunt Leana And we'll sleep there 'til...

'Til what? Don't you see how pathetic this is?

To wait for the old woman to die so that we can move in to her place?

I'll be damned! We'd better get the hell out of here!

Where the hell to?

Anywhere! Just leave this shitty place.

We can't just leave. We'll... We'll what?

We're thrown out in the street, and there's nothing you can do, there's no one to complain to and you're telling me it's not so bad!

And you think it would be better somewhere else?

It's pretty much the same everywhere when you're a nobody.

It can't be worse, that's for sure.

What are you doing? I'm going to my dad's.

I tell you, something's got to change.

But we have to solve it ourselves! What's your dad going to do?

So, what are we waiting for? Don't know. He'll give us a sign.

What kind of sign? You don't expect him to talk, do you?

Of course not!

Maybe we'll get an idea or... Something will happen.

When we get a sign, we'll know, trust me!

Actually, anything can be a sign.

You'd better ask him something or make a wish...

That's just what I'm doing.

But it's enough to ask him in my mind, don't you think?

So, what did you ask? None of your business!

What, you have secrets now? No, but you laugh at these things!

Who's laughing? Not me! But you're wrong, you know!

You have to ask yes or no questions! Otherwise he can't answer!

Say: Daddy, I want to emigrate! If it's ok, I don't know...

Make those crows fly! Give the poor guy a chance!

Look! They flew away!

Who flew? The crows... flew away!

That doesn't count! It was just an example!

Why not? It's got to be organized!

I'd ask: Isn't it better to just stay home?

That's not what I asked. Yes, but that's what I'm asking.

Ok. So, if they fly, it's time to leave. Yeah.

I think he's here! Who?

Daddy, I feel like he's coming... By car?

Well, if this isn't a sign... Hey, listen!




Could you please help me?

I'm Sorina. Jerome.

Did you notice, that they're looking straight at us?

Yes, Sir. I've one just like it in my bedroom.

It brings you so much peace when you look at them...

Thanks, Colonel.

So, it doesn't really matter which department you work in, just take her out from behind the counter.

She is very depressed after what's happened.

We'll move her to the ad agency. Ok, I owe you one!

Colonel! Never mind, Sir.

Sir, there's a boy here, to be hired at the ad agency...

Send him in.

Do you have a CV or something? No, I...

Then tell me a few things, name, address, occupation...

My name is Lucian Timofte, I'm 29... What's my occupation?

Right now I'm working at the greenhouse. I graduated Silviculture in '93 and...

I used to work at the botanical garden, doing research. But funds had run out.

And why do you want to become an ad agent?

Actually, it's my wife's idea. We haven't been paid lately and she said...

Actually, her Headmistress said... Which Headmistress?

The Headmistress from kindergarten 69.

Oh, so Madam Julea sent you.

Let's see how she's doing!

Aunt Leana!

Aunt Leana!


Hello, Granny, is Gică home? It's downstairs, working on the car!

You came to see Auntie? Yes, but she's not answering.

God, maybe she's sick again. Go check, it could be open.

She was sick yesterday as well.

Nicu, is that you?

It's not Nicu, Aunt Leana. It's me, Luci.

It's Luci, Aunt Leana!

Auntie, I need to sleep here tonight, okay?

Yes, dear, of course... And Sorina, too...

Only to find some space... We'll find space, Auntie.

Gică, can you help me bring in some furniture?


Hey, go tell Mom to give me the cigarettes.

It's all right. She's here!

What's this, you're drinking it with sugar again?

You're not allowed to have sugar! It's all right!

So you won't fall asleep, right? He told you not to fall asleep.

I found this and next thing I know, that bottle hits me in the head.

So, where will you sleep? At Aunt Leana's, for the time being.

And Sorina? It's not going so well.

She's fed up with all this mess. She says we should leave.

And? What's keeping you here? No house, no parents...

It's not that easy. If I had left earlier, it would have been something, but not like this.

I don't want to clean toilets.

Who said anything about toilets? You can work in construction or...

If Nicu had figured something out, maybe I'd have gone.

Plus, I have to take care of Aunt Leana. You can't stay here for an old hag.

She brought me up, though...

Know what? I was thinking I could get a job as a chef on a ship.

Two bucks an hour... What do you think?

But you can't swim. Doesn't matter.

You just have to know how to cook. But you don't.

Doesn't matter. I registered for a cooking class.

Hey, you think she's got some dude? Who?

Sorina! Bullshit!

Hey, where's my furniture?

A guy came and took it in a car...

A guy? Yes, he came with your missus.

What's with this face, stupid? What?

Leave him be. Uncle Emil!

Don't wanna. He's such a loser... Uncle Emil!

Well done, children!

The gentleman here, Mr. van Horn, is a guest from Belgium and he'd very much like to get to know you better.

He likes children very much and would like to take one with him, when he leaves... Do you understand?


The gentleman is going to ask you some questions, and you are going to answer him nicely, won't you?

Your teacher is going to translate.

If you would please, Miss? Yes, Ma'am.

His name is Michael and he comes from the Netherlands.

What's your name?

My name is Costel Denis Purcărea, and I am in the senior group.

Very beautiful name you have.

Would you like to go with this nice man?

Is he an orphan?

Yes. His father died in a work accident.

Sorry, can I be excused for a moment? Sure.

Step aside so the gentleman can have a look at the other children, too.

Dănuț, doesn't your father work at the store?

Well, then what do you want? This is for orphan children.

They let you out from the hospital? Weren't you supposed to stay longer?

I'm okay! I had to go to the interview.

They hired me! Good for you...

Aren't you glad? Cut it out, the children are watching!

You'll see, everything will be fine... Yeah... I brought you some clothes.

So, what did you do with the furniture?

I found someone with an empty flat, and I moved it there.

I'm here with Gică, to move the bed to Auntie's.

We can stay there 'til... What about her?

She'll stay there too. She has nowhere else to go, does she?

I won't move there.

How can three people live there with all that furniture?

How come?!

I'll sleep here. I talked to the Headmistress, and she's fine with it.

As you wish. But you're wrong! What do you mean, wrong?

You should think it over. Think what over?

I told you I can't go on like this! Did you think I was joking?

Come on, I have to go now, the children are waiting for me...

Nicu, is that you? No, it's me, Luci.

Oh, Luci... Are you going somewhere? To work.

And what exactly do you do there?

What was I supposed to do? How shall I put it?

The first thing you need to know in publicity is that not only people have a soul, objects have one, too.

And if you learn to love the product you're giving a life to, then the customers will love it, too. If they love it, they'll buy it. So...

To work, let's go!

Wait a second!

Aren't you ashamed to show up here after all you've done to me?

And give me back my poetry notebook!

Listen! This is my first day here. I'm replacing the guy who left.

I'm Luci. Mihaela.

Please, excuse me. I thought you were Vasile.

It's okay. Can I make a call?

We should go outside.

Hello? I want to talk to Sorina.

She's not there...

Do you know where she is?

Tell her I called, and I'll call her later. Thanks a lot.

Problems? Thanks. Not really.

I went with Gică, this friend of mine, to move some furniture, and it was gone.

And it all ended with a small fight... You know women.

So I called to see how things are going.

And, are they back together? Who?

Your friends.

Want some?


So, what's up with that guy, Vasile? Same thing. Domestic trouble.

Your friend should go and talk to the girl. Things like this can end badly.

You don't say...

Are you sure you know what you're doing?


Whatever you say.

Good evening. Is Sorina there?

She's no longer sleeping here. She moved out.

Do you know where? She found a place somewhere else...

Please excuse us.

Nicu? It's not Nicu, Auntie.

I'm with Gică.

I called in the morning, she moved in to some apartment.


It's serious. You have to do something quickly.

I know.

If this house had been yours, things would have been different.

Auntie is going to leave it to me, but I can't just rush her now, can I?

Gică, I want to talk to Luci.

What are you doing, drinking with sugar again?

It's important for one to live well, not for a long time.

Luci, dear...

I want to help you.

I see you've split out with your girl and it's a pity.

I was thinking, what if I sell this house and buy two smaller ones?

One for the both of you, and one for me.

This is a studio apartment. You can't get anything smaller.

Can't you? No.

What if I'd move elsewhere? Where elsewhere?

To the old age home?

No way. We'll manage somehow, I'm sure.

Go talk to her and see, 'cause if it helps, I'm ready to move out.

No, Auntie.

Auntie, do you want to come with us to the park on Saturday? It's nice.

What are you saying?! I could get sick! You go.

Why get sick, Auntie? What are you doing?


You mean she moved here? That's the address!

Look, 43A. This is it.

Good luck.

And don't stay long! I want to see the match.

Hi! Come in.

Sorina, it's for you. Is your head okay?

What's up, what are you doing here at this hour?

Can I come in? Did something happen?

I don't know. You tell me... What should I tell you?

Like, who's this guy, for example...

This guy saved your life. He took you to the hospital...

And you moved in with him, to pay him back?

That's why you came here, to raise a scandal?

No, I came to ask you if you want to marry me, but...

I'm Jerome. Luci.

There's a football game on TV. You like football?

Why is he wearing my bathrobe? I gave it to him, as charity...

How come, "as charity"? For the soul of my late husband.

He understood, at the cemetery, that I'm a widow.

But I'm alive! You are not my husband.

Oh, so I'm not!

Listen to me, Jerome or whatever your name is.

I am her husband. Stop it! Even if we're having problems now, don't think you can take advantage!

Otherwise, you'll have to deal with me. Sorry, Luci, I don't understand.

What's he saying, Sorina? What did he say?

Cut it out! He doesn't understand Romanian.

How could you? What? Do what?

He's going back in a week, happy now?

And I'm sleeping in the kitchen, you can check that out, if you want to.

Luci? Shut up!

It's for you.


Luci, don't be stupid. Tell him, man!

I told him already but he doesn't understand.

Luci, have they scored? Yes, it's one nil.

For whom?

Wrong number.

If I catch you two spitting again, I'll get you out of here immediately!

Feel better?

Auntie, keep going if you want. I'm sick.

Here, I brought you the tape with that song you were talking about.

I found it in my father's office.


What about your friend? Have they solved their problem?

Not really. She said she needs a few days to think it over.

And what is he going to do?

He'll wait. What else can he do?

Taste it now.

It's good, man.



Auntie, open the door! I was just kidding, really.

Auntie Leana?

Luci, there are some policemen looking for you.

What's going on?

Mr. Lucian Timofte? Yes.

I'm Colonel Vișoiu.

This is Mr. Zigfrid. I'm Nae Zigfrid.

May we? Please.

Mr. Lucian, I'm your friend Nicu's friend from Germany.

Be strong, Uncle Marian. And be careful how you broach the subject.

Weren't you supposed to call Sorina today?

I'll call her tomorrow.

Auntie, I have to tell you something, and it's something...

Listen, maybe it's Nicu...

Hello. I'm Colonel Vișoiu, From the 42nd precinct.

Ma'am, I'm sorry to tell you that your son has died.

What the hell, Uncle Marian, are you trying to kill the old lady?

It's better this way!

It's true, there's a small shock at first, but then...

What the hell have you done? Well, she fell ill on the spot.

Please, don't tell me she's...

What are you waiting for? Go quick, tell your wife!

Wouldn't tomorrow be better?

Tomorrow could be too late. Come on, go now!

Mihaela and her mother.

Today is the most important day of your lives.

You are walking away, forever, together, on life's road. It's not an easy one, but at the end of this road, there are many satisfactions waiting for you.

I declare you husband and wife!

We are next, dear!

Invite the guests inside. And go get Vasile.

Haven't you seen the bridegroom? Vasile?

Yes, yes, the bridegroom.

You haven't seen Vasile?

Leave it for now!

Children, have you seen Mr. Vasile?

Mrs. Headmistress, Costel and Dănuț are spitting at each other...

And we can't sing. Aren't you ashamed of yourselves?

People have troubles here and you're spitting?!

Take your places and be quiet or I'll rip your ears off! Understand?

Vasile, is that you? It's not Vasile.

Who is it, then? It's Gabriel.

Gabriel, have you seen Vasile?

Last time I saw him, he was at the white car, Colonel.

The one with food or the one with booze?

The one with the booze, Colonel, Sir.

Make it faster, we've to look for him.

Coming, Sir. I'll be outside.

One, two, three bottles missing.

You go inside, you two in the alley and you come with me.

We have 13 other couples waiting.

Sorry, we have to pass on to the next couple.

We'll find a good boy for you. It's better that it happened now.

If this isn't a sign...

I think he's here. Who?


I really don't know what we're going to do now.

It's not the end of the world.

There are many boys out there, maybe even better...

Of course, but who's going to marry a girl in her situation?

People are mean, everybody's talking about what happened.

Why don't you let her go to America, to Mrs. Headmistress's daughter.

She should go to Cristina, maybe she'll meet someone there.

Send her where? God forbid, I have to take care of her here...

And she's too naive, poor girl. I have to see the man myself.

Look what happened with this Vasile! She said she loved him and that's it.

Then, go to the matrimonial agency Emilia left the country with.

Oh God, send her to some stranger, we're not stooping so low...

Why not? Emilia is very well off, she stays home, takes care of the child, while here she didn't even have a high school diploma.

Elena, listen to me, that one, the Belgian, the Dutchman, or whatever - is he married?

He's not, Mrs. Headmistress. I asked him already!

Dear me, Madam, if you could help me with this matter, you don't even know the good it would do me.

Come on, Geta, if only I could do something.

You know, Mihaela is like a daughter to me.

Your poems are okay.

Are they for yourself or to be published some day?

I'd like to but it's not that simple! You need to have connections.

I've also started a novel.

A novel? A novel...

Look, that's me in the eighth grade.

And those are my parents.

Your father's a cop? A policemen, yes.

He also used to write. In fact, he's still writing.

What, poetry as well?

Now he writes for the Police Magazine. But when he was younger he wrote.

I mean not like poetry, you know... But lyrics...

For songs, you mean? Yes.

You know that one with: I defend the red tie of the pioneer...

Oh come on, he wrote it? Sure!

Can you imagine, I sang it for 8 years in school, and never knew what "pledge" means?

Well, pledge is... Mihaela!

You know which one was nice? That one with...

In the year 2000... What, don't you remember?

When we shall not be kids, We shall have one single wish!

It's so beautiful!

Say, did you expect the year 2000 to look like this?

Mihaela! Me neither!

Excuse me a second.

Mom, what's up? Nothing, dearest.

I thought it would be a nice surprise to take you out to some restaurant.

Did something happen to dad?

No! Can't we just go out and talk like girls?

Some nice things have been done, though, that's the truth.

It's not Vasile, I'm with this new boy, Luci.

Take Emilia, for instance, she didn't even have a highschool diploma, and she is very well off. She married that foreigner, stays home, takes care of the child, He takes her out on Saturday's...

Just imagine how it would be to eat McDonald's every Saturday!

That doesn't matter to me. I want to travel, write books...

Yes, dear, but you need a stable situation.

What do you earn from writing? Well, money is not so important.

Until you need it! We are retiring this year.

You need to have your own house, your own money... Take my word for it!

I've counted every penny my entire life, I know better...

Well, if you could do it, I'll do it, too.

Things were different, in my time my dear, but nowadays there are so many people with means, why not take advantage?

Men, that's their destiny, they must work, but for women, it's important to marry well.

I'd like a boy who likes my poems, takes me for who I am, not only for my looks.

Sure, dear, that's important, too, if he's got all he needs to support you.

And hear this: This Dutch gentleman I told you about, he's a writer too. He could help you!

I don't know, mom, meeting foreigners, like this...

Come on dear, everybody's a stranger before you get to know them better!

Mihaela dear, please, do it for me.

I understand that you write poems. Yes!

Would you like me to read you one of them?

Yes, why not?

It's my first poem, from when I was 15.

It's spring again, I think of you, I know you are somewhere, and I'll wait for you to come to me, You will be handsome and I will be good We'll lose ourselves under the moonlight.

I don't understand what it means, but it sounds very musical.

I also write in French, like Baudelaire. You know him?

It rings a bell, but... He was my father's favorite.

And his favorite painter is Grigorescu.

He painted a lot of pictures with... oxen carts.

My father has a lot of copies of paintings with oxen carts.

I also like copies of paintings.

Do you want me to recite you a poem in French?

It's for Mr. Director. Didn't you bring him a gift?

It's from my wedding, from my godfather.

Crystal? Only the girls came empty handed.

I heard they even have doctors, Americans...

It's all up to the Director though.

Next, please!

Sit down, please. Thank you.

Name, first name and the actual status, for the record.

Mihaela Vișoiu. Unmarried. She's my daughter.

Why didn't she come in person? She's a bit shy.

Where do you want the gentleman to come from?

What do you mean, from where? Like: Europe, America, Asia?

Don't you have any locals?

No, we only work abroad. If you want locals, go to another agency.

From Europe, then.


Look here. Don't you have anyone younger?

They are young, too. How old is the girl?

Twenty four.

Twenty four...

Here, this one.

He's a very serious gentleman from Saudi Arabia.

Never married before.

But he's ugly! Ugly, come on!

Maybe that one, the second one...

This one? No, no, on the other row...

This one? That one, a bit further... Yes!

A very serious gentleman, from Cyprus, sailor, aged 35.

Sailor? Sorry, don't you have a doctor or...?

That one no, 'cause he's ugly, that one no again, 'cause he's a sailor.

Look here, Madam, we are not at the market, these are people we're talking about. We can't negotiate like this.

Here. They are doctors from Canada.

Why are they standing like that? They are brothers.

I'd rather you recommend me someone. Who should I recommend?

There's a serious gentleman from Spain, works at the Opera House in Madrid.

There are some others too... If you want, you pay the fee, and...

Sure. I can also leave you a poem. My daughter is also a poet.

You don't say! Okay, I'll take care of it. Thank you. Good day!

Mihaela, honey, come quickly to the phone!

Who is it?

It's a young gentleman from Italy, very well-to-do.

Mom, I found a boy I like. I won't date anyone else!

Mihaela, listen to me for once!

He has a house in Milan, he's got a car, a publishing house.

How would you know? Madam Julea spoke to him, in Italian.

He could be eighty, or something. No, dear, listen to me, he's young.

And he likes your poems, dear! He read them and he likes them!

The gentleman at the agency sent one of your poems with your picture, and the next day this boy called, saying he wants to meet you.

It's not polite to keep him waiting!

What's the name of his publishing house? Ask him!

Esperanza, and prints a thousand titles a year and...

How old is he?

Fifty-nine. Mihaela, sorry!

His publishing house is 59 years old, Luigi is 23!

How tall is he? Dear, it's no polite to ask him this.

I want to know tall he is. What if he's a fat dwarf?

One eighty six, and 76 kilos, and he's athletic.

Is he bald? Mihaela, please!

He's dark-haired and has brown eyes. He wants to speak to you, Mihaela!

He wants to hear your voice. Let him send a picture first.

There is no time for pictures, he already bought his plane ticket to come here the day after tomorrow. He asks if it's all right with you.

Yes, sure, give him the address! See, honey, he's an honest man, he wants to come here, to be introduced to us properly.

Take care, you invited him!

If he publishes my poems, I'll go with him, but don't you dare to say anything later.

Didn't you hear, he's young and of a good family. It could be our chance!

Oh my!

Everything has to be clean until the day after tomorrow.

Listen, maybe you could tell my husband, 'cause he might not agree.

I think he respects you. Sure! Let's clean this place up!

What's this?

What's with you?

I need to tell you something.

I might be able to get my poems published, after all.

Very well, isn't that what you wanted?

Yes, but...

I mean, we all have to make sacrifices for what we want, don't we?

Yeah. And, I think I'll have to leave.

No big deal. It was a shitty job anyway.


Take this tape, as a gift.

And I wrote another poem. But read it when I'm gone!

I am very glad we met.

Me, too.

But everyone has to do what's best for him, right?


Hurry up!


Cheers. Thank you.

Wasn't it better to cook some cabbage rolls?

Let make him feel at home.

Remember you gave your word you won't spit, so the foreign gentleman doesn't think we're savages.

He's coming!

He's coming.

Don't stand like that, act naturally!

Hi! I'm Luigi.

Listen, moron, why do you think you're here?

To let you know when he comes... And what else did I tell you?

To let you know there's anything suspicious about the foreigner.

And there's nothing suspicious?

Sir, I tried to tell you he's a negro, but you didn't understand!

Go ahead and tell everybody! I'm not gonna say anything, Colonel.

Look here, go have a beer! Thanks, Colonel, Sir.

So, you're staying with Nicu's mother...

For now, 'til I find another place.

I can't tell the news about Nicu. She's old and...

Excuse me, I am going home to spend some time with my daughter.

Time is running out, who knows when I'll see her again...

Colonel, Sir, Uncle Marian, stop crying; she's not going to the slaughter-house.

Trust me, it's going to be fine.

This happens with children, they grow up and leave, what can you do?

Yes, but take this boy, Nicu, he left home in good health and look what happened.

What's gotten into everybody, now? Is it not good enough here?

You are surrounded by your own people, they help you in need...

Where do they go like this into the world?

It's fine here, too, but people want more...

She moves away and leaves the house empty behind her.

Sir, how is it empty? There's your missus, the other missus!

Eh, my missus!

You still have friends, neighbors, colleagues, don't you?

What colleagues? Nobody gives a shit once you're retired.

The boy could also step in.

By the way, I'm looking for a room to rent.

Have you heard of anything available in your neighborhood? But cheap.

Eventually, you could come and see our place. There's plenty of space now!

I don't have enough money. Besides, there's my wife, too.

It's not a matter of money.

Me and my wife are going back to the countryside next summer.

Someone's got to take care of the house. Come one day and we'll talk.

I'll come tomorrow if it's okay! Are you sure I'm not bothering?

Auntie Leana will get crossed I'm leaving her alone, but...

For now, I don't know how to tell her.

Colonel, Sir... Call me Uncle Marian...

Uncle Marian, you have a lifetime of experience in working with people.

Come along to break the news to the old woman. All of us we'll be there, sure...

It's better if she gets it from someone who knows how to say these things.

Okay, boys, for my daughter's sake.

Stay strong, Uncle Marian. And take care how you broach the subject.

Colonel Vișoiu, 42nd precinct. I'm sorry to tell you that your son has died.

What the hell, Uncle Marian, are you trying to kill the old lady?

What the hell have you done? She fell ill on the spot.

Please, don't tell me she's...

Auntie Leana, quick, bring the salts, Granny has fainted!

Don't be scared, she has low blood pressure, so it happens from time to time.

She'll come to her senses if you sprinkle her with water.


Is it raining?

Auntie, I think I'll move to Mr. Colonel's. He offered us a room, for free. You don't mind, do you?

That's fine, dear, you move in with your girl again.

It's good things got settled.

Well what are you waiting for? Go tell your wife everything's settled.

Now? I'll go tomorrow. Go now! I'll stay here.

Now? Go now, 'til it's not too late! Run!


Sorry, I have to go back.

I can't leave like that.

If you want to come to France with me, then come.

If you want to stay here, then stay. But you have to decide now.

Zigfrid and Mr. Colonel

Dear colleagues, allow me to first thank Colonel Vișoiu for everything he's done for our institution.

As you know, he will retire next week, so this is the last session he'll be attending.

Colonel, we all wish you:

A long and happy life!

Thank you.

What can I say?

The years have gone by in the blink of an eye.

My daughter's getting married tomorrow.

Congratulations! Thank you.

So, I guess it's about time to step aside for the younger ones.

I'll go back to the countryside, so come and have a drink whenever you want.

Now, let me introduce Mr. Van Horn, the coordinator of the European Program for the training of the Romanian Police, as per the European Union's requests.

He will preside over the first conference. Please, pay attention.

Gypsies are people, too.

Now I know! We forgot about the red wine.

Don't you worry. It's bottled already. 30 bottles, plus beer, vodka, vermouth.

It's enough! The wedding rings from Grandpa?

I gave them to Vasile. He should keep them.

You shouldn't have.

I don't trust him.

We were all running around today, and he was sleeping on a chair.

You can't expect more. No money, no parents, what does he know?

And I tried so hard to find a good boy for Mihaela, with a reputation...

We shall leave them the house. We'll live in the countryside.

50 km is not that far off. We'll help them as much as we can.

Pity he's not more reliable, but he'll learn.

You shouldn't have given him the wedding rings.

Don't you worry!

It's going to be fine. Trust me.

Have you seen a wedding guest dressed like a bridegroom?

If this is not a sign...

Aren't you ashamed of yourself?

You have the wedding rings, right?

Don't tell me you lost my Grandpa's wedding rings!

See what booze does, Mr. Vasile.

I won't drink anymore! Sorry, son, I can't help you anymore.

But sir! Just stay there.

Sir! Colonel, Sir, let him be.


Where can I find Captain Vișoiu? Mr. Colonel? Office 42.

I want to see Mr. Colonel.

Colonel, I was wondering...

Come in!

I came to declare a theft. It's here, right?

What have you stolen?

Not me. Some luggage was stolen from me.



Nae Zigfrid.

Sir, Colonel Vișoiu speaking. It's about Mihaela.

Can we talk?

Sure, I'll be there in an hour. Thank you.

Colonel, you don't know me anymore, but I know you.

I'm calling on you because of the theft of an object, that, would it have been mine, maybe I wouldn't have lodged a complaint, but it doesn't belong to me. I have to give it back to someone.

Where did you say we know each other from?

Years ago, in '88, on a case of yours, an illegal border crossing...

I remember. I was dispatched to Orșova.

Do you remember a case with a boy who tried to cross the Danube swimming, at night... You started the investigation, and after two days two people from the Securitate took over, one bald and short, the other, taller.

Yes, I remember.

How mean was the short one, he punched the boy so hard!

So, you do remember... How could I not?

But I couldn't say, after all these years, which one you are. I hope you're not the mean short one...

No, I'm the boy they beat up.

The law was different, and if one didn't obey...

Besides, I don't remember hitting you.

Only a couple of slaps.

What's two slaps... In comparison to how they beat you.

But I'm not accusing you of anything, Colonel. I left the country, anyway, I've made a name for myself in Germany...

But when you took me out of that room, I was covered in blood, broken teeth... and you told me you felt sorry for me, because you had children, too, a girl, if I remember well, and that you could not help me then, but if, when I got out, I needed some help, I could call you up.

That happened 12 years ago.

So here I am. I need help now, and I came to you.


It's that old lady again, now she saying there's a bear on her balcony!

A bear?!

What's the bear doing, Madam?


Wants to get inside?

Yell loud! It'll scare him away! You see how times have changed?

Nowadays people call the police as if they were calling a friend.

Whether they have a real problem or not, they call to be comforted.

Sorry. I have to go. Can I drive you there?

He got inside? Pass him the phone, please!

And that guy, Nicu, That I was telling you about...

Who was like a brother to you, there in Germany...

Yes, he left here before '89, also over the Danube.

With a friend, he figured out how to cross the river.

You remember that there were check-ups, they confiscated tubes, tires, anything that could float...

These two guys, that... I've got to tell you, were also like brothers, had the idea of crossing the Danube using an inflatable rubber woman...

I remember the case. Turn left.

They flipped a coin, on who was to cross first, and Nicu won.

The other one, Luci, couldn't go because the alarm was raised, the border guards caught him and put him in jail.

It's a blessing the Revolution came and he got out.

So he's free. Yes.

In Germany, Nicu worked for me. I have a printing press.

He used to drink a lot, though... That's bad... the booze.

And one night, a week ago, we were coming home.

I let him drive, even though he was drunk.

It was night, it was raining... the car jumped over the railing, and fell into the water.

From the back seat, I got out, but Nicu...

This is the coin they flipped, that led him to the other side, and left the other one here.

If you'll allow it, I also work for the Police magazine, could we publish this story of yours in the column.

"Staring Life in the Eyes"?

If you want... But, will you help me?

With what, exactly?

Nicu asked me, that, if something happened to him, I was to look out for that Luci, break the news to him, and to bring to him Nicu's things.

Didn't you say you needed to report a theft?

Well, last night, as soon as I arrived, somebody broke into my car, and they stole everything. It wasn't much, but... personal stuff, you know which are practically, irreplaceable.

Let's see.

Yes, Luigi. 42, Răcăciuni Street. Otopeni, of course.

Tell him to be careful, not to get robbed at the airport.

To meet with strangers, I don't agree!

We'll find her a good boy here. We'll leave her the house, we'll help her with the children... Where should she go like this?

It's not as easy as you think. Plus, what's it in for her here?

What about this house? All these things?

What have we worked all our lives for if not for her?

Children should be close to their parents, to help each other...

Are you not thinking about her needs?

Of course I am. We knew Vasile and look what happened.

What about a complete stranger? You can never tell.

Take Mrs. Julea's daughter, for example.

She is well off, stays home, takes care of the child.

She's well off, but her mother? She's worrying about her all day long.

You want that?

It's all a lottery, darling. Take my daughter, for example.

She married a foreigner and she's very well off.

But what about you? Don't you worry about her all day long?

You want that?

That's life. Kids do what's best for them.

I'll probably go there this year, to help her with her little girl.

We have to go to them, after all. They're all going God knows where.


Colonel, we found the stolen luggage.

We'll go get them tonight. I'm taking the boys.

Are you coming with us, Colonel?

Now, listen here.

Today is a great day for you. You never forget your first mission.

At times, it seems we don't remember it, but it remains hidden somewhere.

When we retire, we dig it out and tell our grandchildren.

One more thing! For a policeman, the stake-out is the value.

This is where you see self control. During the stake-out, you are facing the perpetrator. There's only you and him.

Is it true that, that's when you go bald?

Can be.

You all know what you have to do? Go!

You! Stay behind the bushes. When the thief comes, whistle!

Captain, Sir, I was thinking... What?

The apple - it has seeds in the middle...

The orange has seeds too, but I was asking myself, where are the seeds in a banana, for God's sake?

Sir! The perpetrator!

And why aren't you whistling? I can't whistle, I've had an operation.

Aren't you ashamed of yourself?

Geta! This woman was stolen... So, for you, that's a woman...

This woman, this object... Sure, for you, a woman is an object.

Will you let me explain?

This woman saved somebody's life. It's not a mere object.

And it's not mine. It belongs to a thief that...

So why is it in our house? Why is it in our house?

Well, it just so happened that... What if Mihaela had found it?

What kind of example is this? What if that boy coming tomorrow had found it?

Which boy?

A very fine boy, with a reputation and everything.

He wants to publish Mihaela's poems in Italy.

In Italy?


Hello! I'm Luigi.


Ask him about his parents.

And your parents?

My father... It's okay, I understood.

Now, why are you mourning, like a fool?

You should speak to Mihaela... And tell her what?

You put that nonsense into her head that only money counts, you didn't ask me to speak to her. Now, figure it out yourself!

Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Leaving those kids alone.

He's our guest after all!

Guest, my ass, you brought this monkey into my home!

Don't you dare!

The boy comes from a good family, he has the best intentions, so what if he's a negro?

All we're doing is having dinner, none's saying Mihaela has to marry him.

So get back in there and watch how you behave.

Here comes the main course! You have to say something, too!


I love pizza! I eat pizza all the time.

And, tell me, young man, were you born in Italy, or...

I was born in Mozambique and moved to Italy when I was 15.

And how is it there? Do you have... police... For example?

Of course. Police, banks, schools, libraries, everything.

It's a normal country.

When someone says Africa, one thinks...

The Spanish think of elephants, bananas, Ebola, people dying of hunger.

And that exists, but it's not the whole reality.

Generally, we are normal people living normal lives.

Same thing here, except for Dracula and Nadia Comăneci, what do people know about us?

Who's heard of... Popârniceanu, or any others?

But what's extraordinary is that everybody here knows Italian.

It's great!

Romanian and Italian are very similar, aren't they?

By the way, in my free time, I like gardening, and there's something I've been asking myself for a long time:

Bananas... Where are their seeds?

Could you please ask him if they have scholarships for young poets over there?

Through the good will of Mr. Van Horn here, one of our children, Costel, will leave, but hopefully not forever, to a new family, in another country.

I'd like to welcome Mr. Van Horn, and you, Costel, on stage.

If you keep spitting, I'll beat you up!

Thank you for being here today to bid farewell to Costel, I promise that we'll do our best to make Costel feel at home in Holland, his new country, just like he felt in Romania. Thank you.

Forgive him, he's a bit nervous, but he promised me that he won't spit anymore, right, Costel?

'Cause if he spits, the gentleman won't take him anymore.

After all, you don't want to to give us a bad name there.

Come, Sorina, they're waiting for you!

Look here, boy, I know you'll understand me, you've got parents of your own.

Mihaela can't leave, and not because you're... no.

It's just that she belongs here, this is her house, we want to raise her children together, understand?

Mr. Colonel, sorry, I understand what you're saying, but I talked to Mihaela and I'm willing to stay here.

Ready to stay here?! Yes. But Mihaela wants to go to Italy.


Just a second.

Have you heard that? Mihaela wants to leave!

He would stay here! Did you know about this?

It's better if she goes.

Colonel, Mr. Nae is waiting for you here.

Said you have a meeting for an article. I'm in the middle of something.

Listen, we have to find that boy, Lucian. Quickly!

Yes, Sir. I'm on my way.

I left in 1988, I met Nicu there.

Does Mr. Lucian Timofte live here?

He used to, but not anymore. Ask his wife at the kindergarten.

This is Nicu, when he was in the military.

His wife works here? Yes.

Could I have a phone number?

Very nice!

What about the luggage? We're working on it.

May I keep it? Sure, it's for you.

Is Mr. Timofte available? Try the shopping center.

Is it for me?

Yes. Over there.

How do you say "cheers" in German?

They're not real.

They didn't take a thing. It's a pity the woman blew up.

We've tried to fix it, but...

It blew up in several places, as it seems.

Well, the rubber was pretty old.

That's it. Shall we go in? Yes. Just a second...

We've only known each other for a few days, but you seem like an honorable man, so I may, to ask you for something if it's fine with you...

I'm all ears.

It's about my daughter, who, well, has decided to go abroad, and... how can I put it, the boy, the fiancé, I don't want to get into details, but it didn't turn out well.

Mihaela, my daughter, still wants to go at any price though.

So, I thought I could ask you, if it's not too much to ask, to take her with you when you leave, keep her there for a while, 'til she figures things out.

I'm leaving tomorrow morning.

Well, that's that. She's ready. All you need to do is agree...

She also writes poetry, maybe she can help you at the printing house...

Mr. Colonel, Sir, if we don't help each other, who will?

You have no idea how much you've helped me!

Should we go, Mr. Colonel, Sir? Sure. But call me Uncle Marian.

Mr. Lucian, I'm your friend Nicu's friend from Germany.

So he finally decided to give us a sign of life.

That's the thing. Unfortunately, Nicu is no longer among us.

He died last week, in a car crash.

He had asked me, that if something happens to him, to look for you, and tell you.

This is the coin, he always kept it with him.

Here's his stuff, and...

What's that? Nicu cared for her a lot.

He used to watch it and say: "Where would Luci be now?"

This woman has a patch.

There was a situation when... Make me understand, please.

You mean to tell me that, after all these years, which he made no contact, let me take care of his mother who is old now, he sends me a perforated coin and a--

Wait! Don't take it like that.

For him, these objects were like a sign of fate that tore you apart.

You know what tore us apart? I went to take a leak and when I got back, Nicu had gone!

So, give me a break with this coin.

And sorry to tell you, that woman was white.

As for his mother, you didn't bring anything? Money?

Truth is, he didn't get on too well. He drank everything, didn't he?

I can help her with money, if necessary.

And who'll tell the old woman? I can't...

How did it happen?

It was night, raining...

I know you from somewhere. Weren't you a friend of Nicu's?

Yes, but I don't think you know me.

It's just about Nicu... Mr. Colonel, Sir!

Call me "Uncle Marian".

Aunt Leana, you have to know, Nicu... What's with Nicu?

Nicu... will never come back, understand?

That's fine. Why come back here if he's okay there?

Or isn't he?

Yes, I suppose he's fine.

Fine, yes. He's fine.

How could he not get in touch for such a long time?

He's been busy. He works a lot, doesn't he?

Yes... Still drinking?

Not really... not quite. This drinking habit...

How's he getting on with money?

Quite well. He's loaded. As proof, he sent you...

500 marks. 1,500 marks.

1,500 marks! And he'll send you more when he gets it.

And you tell him I'm fine, Luci takes care of me, he stays with me here.

Auntie, I think I'll move to Mr. Colonel. He offered us a room.

Well what are you waiting for? Go tell your wife everything's settled.

Now? I'll go tomorrow. Go now! I'll stay here.

Now? Go now, 'til it's not too late! Run!

They all go, Granny, what to do?

I want to leave...


What's up with you two?

He came to say goodbye to this little one. He leaves in an hour.

What are you doing here so early? I didn't make it home last night.

Hey, Luci!

Come here, someone came to say goodbye.