Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
The bite and acidic humour of Tertium non datur will be familiar to all who recall the great Romanian absurdist Lucian Pintilie’s marvellous The Oak. His latest is set entirely (and ingeniously) within a commandeered schoolhouse towards the end of WWII. Romanian soldiers are playing humble, expectant hosts to two complacent German officers, one solid and silent; the other slender, erudite and extremely talkative. An allegory about lost honour and disintegrating national identity forms around the disappearance, during their meagre but formal luncheon, of a rare postage stamp. An engaging cast of comedians play out this mystery in an exquisitely dry but fruity style.
“Filmmaking of the rarest purity and perfection, as befits a film that speculates about the true nature of purity and the bloody folly of it all.” — Olaf Möller, Film Comment