Occident is a bittersweet comedy that focuses on the growing tendency of Eastern European youth to migrate west. When the amicable Luci (Alexandru Papadopol) and his beautiful lover Sorina ... See full summary »
Out of enthusiasm, a Militia soldier abandons his platoon and decides to fight for the cause of the Revolution. His Lieutenant and the rest of the crew look for him during the confused night of 22-23 December 1989.
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There's pretty much no in-between when it comes to this particular movie. In order to love it, one would first need to fully grasp the social environment of the late 80's in eastern Europe. Having achieved that, the movie will suddenly become amazingly familiar. Of course, to a westerner, the movie may seem bland, with very mild comedic content, but to a eastern European, this movie will bring laughter throughout the runtime. In fact, I joined IMDb just to write about it. Yes, I found it to be that good.
There are multiple factors that make this movie so enjoyable, starting with the fact that it is based on urban legends that used to circulate in Romania during the pre 1989 period (and in fact, long afterward as well), and ending with the amazingly detailed portrayal of the characters, while still maintaining a strictly necessary list of features needed to best summarise them. I'd go as far as to compare this movie to "Goodbye Lenin", which is a movie aimed at the same target as this one. I remember watching "Goodbye Lenin", and shedding a tear in the end, due to the amazing feeling of familiarity that it had brought on the screen. While "Tales from the Golden Age" will not have such a dramatic effect on you, I can assure anyone familiar with the eastern Europe social context of the 80's, that they'll definitely enjoy the movie. Of course, should one wish to nitpick, you'd find various anachronisms, mainly related to the props used, but then again, these anachronisms only helped us remember what the actual objects used to be like back then.
Personally, I give it a 9, simply because I consider 10 to be a mark every director should strive to achieve, but never succeed.
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