Crulic - the Path to Beyond
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2011, December 1: the release of Crulic - Drumul spre Dincolo (Crulic - the Path to Beyond), a documentary mixing animation and live images, written and directed by Anca Damian.
2007, July 11: Polish police arrests Romanian citizen Claudiu Crulic, charging him with the theft of a wallet. The suspect does not admit his guilt. The evidence is ambiguous at best, the justice system is blind, the Romanian consulate is deaf. The only way for Claudiu Crulic to raise attention on his case is making hunger strike. As a result he dies in prison. The Romanian consul calls a relative of Crulic to inform about his death: the family should take the corpse, otherwise it will be cremated, and they, the Romanian authorities, just don't care.
a poor man. his story. gray. basic. common.nothing special. an ordinary Romanian. a way to Poland. and lines of hell.scapegoat for a theft. ambiguous evidences Kafkaesque justice. blind doctors. deaf consul. and hunger strike as only weapon. from Krakow cell to death. a tragedy like many others. tragedy of a crumb-person isolated by the indifference. story of Claudiu Crulic. 32 years. from Central Europe. victim. obstacle for a Foreign Minister, subject of news and axis for few late investigations. a man like a fly or spider or chicken. without price, without importance. only a shadows. the movie is not a pledge, not a documentary. it is a tale. common. gray. subtle. with slices of black humor. testimony about passing of a man in life. the verdict can be given only by the public. a isolated case ? an accident ? a murder ? a fact ? must see it ! for its virtue of good film. for its virtue of mirror.
A. O. Scott (NY Times):
Anca Damian’s Crulic: The Path to Beyond tells an almost unbearably sad (and true) story of a Romanian immigrant, imprisoned for a theft he seems unlikely to have committed, who died after a hunger strike. While Ms. Damian stays close to the documentary record, she also uses delicate, hand-drawn animation to tease out emotional and existential nuances in what otherwise might have been a simple journalistic account of injustice.