Scarred Hearts

Scarred Hearts

Director: Radu Jude
Country: Romania/Germany
Year: 2016
Running time: 141 min
In Romanian with English subtitles

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During the summer of 1937, Emanuel, a young man in his early twenties, is committed to a sanatorium on the Black Sea coast for treatment of his bone tuberculosis. The treatment consists of painful spine punctures that confine him to a body cast on a stretcher-bed. Little by little, as Emanuel gets accustomed to the limitations of his new life, he discovers that inside the sanatorium there is still a life to be lived to the fullest. He makes friends and engages in conversations, political for the most part. He reads, he writes, he smokes and drinks, interacts with doctors, nurses and stretcher-bearers. He observes how healing seems to happen transiently, following mysterious laws: some patients get better, some worse, others die. He even has a romantic relationship, while Romania outside the sanatorium doesn‘t have much to offer him, turning more and more into an extreme right- wing society... Radu Jude’s fourth feature film has won acclaim on the world film festival circuit since its premiere in Locarno last year—notably for its frank approach (reflecting that of the film’s subject, the writer Max Blecher) to illness and death. Despite the subject matter, the film is anything but a “downer,” depicting both the absurdist humor of the protagonist’s situation and the zest with which he and his compatriots embrace life, limited though it may be.



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  • 12/2-8/16 Making Waves, Pleasantville, NY
  • 1/11-24/17 New York Jewish Film Festival, New York, NY
  • 1/12-26/17 Miami Jewish Film Festival, Miami, FL
  • 4/21-24/17 Locarno in LA, Los Angeles, CA
  • 5/17-28/17 Washington Jewish Film Festival, Washington, DC
  • 6/11/17 Oak Cliff Film Festival, Dallas, TX
  • 8/16/17 Philadelphia Film Society, Philadelphia, PA
  • 11/5,8/17 Cine-World Film Festival, Sarasota, FL
  • 11/3/12/17 Rehoboth Beach Film Festival, Rehoboth Beach, MD
  • 11/7-19/17 ARCS Romanian Film Festival, Seattle, WA
  • 2/21/18 Austin Film Society, Austin, TX
  • 3/27-4/8/18 Carnegie Mellon Intl. Film Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 7/27-8/2/18 Anthology Film Archives - NY Theatrical Premiere! 35mm print screening opening night only!
  • 8/23/18 Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK
  • 9/2-16/18 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, M
  • Opens 9/14/18 Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe, NM
  • 9/21-23/18 Northwest Film Center, Portland, OR
  • 10/6/18 Cleveland Cinematheque, Cleveland, OH
  • 12/1/18 BAMcinematek, Brooklyn, NY - Intro by producer Ada Solomon and actress Ivana Mladenovic!
  • 5/17/19 Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge, MA
  • 12/1, 5/21 Vancouver Interational Film Festival, Vancouver, BC
  • 3/19/24 American Cinematheque, Los Feliz, CA


“Brims with anarchic life...” – Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

"Aesthetically, “Scarred Hearts” is in many ways the mirror image of Mr. Jude’s previous film, the wide-screen, black-and-white Romanian western “Aferim!” This film is in color, shot in the claustrophobic Academy ratio of the period (with rounded edges added, as if audience members were looking through an old viewfinder) and resolutely antigenre. Those eager to take the plunge are advised to go on the opening night, Friday, when Anthology Film Archives will screen a 35-millimeter print while a speaker of Romanian projects English subtitles in real time. What better way is there to experience the tangibility of Emanuel’s world?" – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times * New York Times Critic's Pick!

"This fanatically detailed, intellectually furious drama, set in 1937, in a Romanian seaside sanitarium, catches a young Jewish writer in the jaws of disease and of Fascism... The medical regimen provides a background for the slow-motion whirl of young intellectuals, politicians, and socialites who turn the hospital into a microcosm of European diseases of the soul." – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"Precisely nuanced and unashamedly intellectual, SCARRED HEARTS has emotional undercurrents that should make it slightly more accessible than AFERIM!." – Allan Hunter, Screen International








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