There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
As Filmfest DC’s literature readily admits, The Other Irene can’t truly be considered a part of the Romanian New Wave. Although based on actual events, it’s actually a thriller with a poetic core: This debut by the director Andrei Gruzsniczki is both deep and deeply gripping, a mystery—but not really a whodunit—in which the wife of a mall security guard returns from a business trip to Egypt in a casket. Gruzsniczki is somewhat out of his league depicting the considerable inner torment of his leading man Aurel (Andi Vasluianu). But his portrayal of a stone-cold bureaucracy—not to mention of the xenophobias of modern Europe—is masterly. The chief villain, then, isn’t the mysterious killer; it’s the institutions obscuring any answers.