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.

Contemporary World Cinema

The Fixer

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.

KERRI CRADDOCK

Fri 09

Scotiabank 10

Regular
9:30pm
Sat 10

Scotiabank 7

Industry
2:30pm
Sun 11

Scotiabank 8

Regular
1:45pm
Wed 14

Scotiabank 7

Industry
11:00am
Sat 17

Bell Lightbox 3

Regular
6:00pm