Archive of films One Floor Below / Un etaj mai jos

Romania / France / Germany / Sweden
2015, 93 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2015

A murder and a house in which much can be overheard – and kept to oneself. A decent father must decide between comfort and conscience. Employing a simple premise, the bold Romanian filmmaker constructs a minimalist New Wave drama with a fundamentally moral dimension. The film competed in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.


Like most other Romanian New Wave movies, One Floor Below is based on a simple premise with a fundamental moral dimension. While standing in the stairway of his apartment building, respectable Patrascu, a capable fiftysomething businessman (whose first name remains unknown for the better part of the film), accidentally overhears a domestic quarrel which ends in murder. Both the victim and murderer are his neighbors, and the decent husband and father must choose between comfort and conscience. “It is a movie about people who, like us, are rather weak,” says Muntean about his hero, “a passive victim of circumstances engaged in an active dialogue with his own sense of ethics.” It’s this invisible inner dialogue that generates the tension and unsettling energy of this minimalist, action-free film, which painstakingly captures the protagonist’s everyday routine at home and work. Both domains become gradually filled with guilt and fear. All cards are on the table from the outset, all information is available. The viewer knows this and is thus forced to make the same decision as the main character.

Jindřiška Bláhová

About the director

Radu Muntean (b. 1971, Bucharest) is among the leading directors and screenwriters of the Romanian New Wave. A graduate of the Academy of Theater and Film in Bucharest, he embarked on his career in 2003 with the feature Rage (Furia), awarded Opera Prima by the Romanian Cineastes Union for best debut. Prior to that he gained experience by making commercials, shooting more than 400 spots before turning exclusively to directing movies. The subtle drama One Floor Below (2015) is his fifth feature and his second film to be selected for Cannes’ Un Certain Regard competition: the story of murder, conscience, and hesitation competed this year, while the romance Tuesday, after Christmas was entered in 2010. “One Floor Below is not a movie about a mystery, yet I am convinced that it contains more tension than anything that I have made so far,” says Muntean about his latest film.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Radu Muntean
Screenplay: Alexandru Baciu, Radu Muntean, Razvan Radulescu 
Dir. of Photography: Tudor Lucaciu
Editor: Aleandru Radu
Art Director: Sorin Dima
Producer: Dragos Vilcu
Production: Multi Media Est
Coproduction: Les Filmes de l'Après-Midi, Neue Mediopolis Filmproduktion, Bleck Film & TV AB
Cast: Teodor Corban, Iulian Postelnicu, Oxana Moravec
Sales: Films Boutique
Distributor: Artcam Films


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