13-02-2010

FNE at Berlinale 2010: Competition If I Want To Whistle, I Whistle (Eu cand vreau sa fluier, fluier)

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BERLIN: Romanian director Florin Serban has brought an uncompromising realism to his debut feature If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle a hard hitting drama based on a stage play by Romanian author Andreea Valean. Set in a reformatory the film is a powerful story of young delinquents and the violence that shapes their lives.

Newcomer George Pistereanu plays Silviu, a young delinquent who is about to be released from reform school. With only five days to go before his release he is determined to keep out of trouble but suddenly the reappearance of his mother who has abandoned him to work abroad triggers a chain of events that plunges him into confrontation with the authorities and his fellow inmates. As Silviu struggles to retain control against increasing provocations the tension builds until he explodes in a scene of stunningly uncontrolled violence. Pistereanu's performance in this lengthy scene heralds the arrival of a major new talent in Romanian cinema. Only 18 at the time the film was shot it was his first acting role but it is not likely to be his last. All the young kids surrounding Silviu are inmates or former inmates of reformatories.

Serban spent two months giving acting workshops in two different prisons working with juvenile delinquents to prepare for the film. The result was that the original stage play was greatly changed.

Serban speaking at a press conference said: "I wanted to get to know this territory better. I learned a lot from working with these young delinquents. It changed the shape of the story. I got to see these kids' attitudes towards life. They just go for something, without thinking about the consequences."

Silviu has grown up without his mother and without love. After getting into trouble he ends up in a reformatory. The environment around him has always been violent and he has had to be violent to survive.

The film addresses the issue of the young generation that has grown up in Romania without their parents as Romanians have gone abroad over the past 10 years to find work leaving their children behind.

Director: Florin Serban

Cast: George Pistereanu, Ada Condeescu, Clara Voda, Mihai Constantin, Marian Bratu

Coproduction: Romania / Sweden

Worldsales: Celluloid Dreams