Commendation of the Ecumenical Jury, Locarno 2023

The film centers on Angela, a casting assistant who drives around Bucharest day and night for a production company looking for authentic actors for an image film. In the process, she records aggressively obscene TikTok videos to channel her frustration. The result is a film production in which exploited people are instrumentalized for the whitewashing of a Western European insurance company. Director Radu Jude brilliantly combines different time periods and media formats. The sequences of the central plot line, shot in black and white, are interrupted by a historical Romanian color film, which also centers on a female taxi driver with her existential questions. The film impresses with its concise critique of capitalism and its self-reflexive mode. The Eastern European protagonists retain their cultural sovereignty despite the repressive working conditions. (Photo: © 4Proof Film)