Review: “Closer to the Moon.”

The story behind Closer to the Moon is so bizarre and bleakly funny that it’s difficult to make sense of it. Working with an English-speaking cast, Romanian filmmaker Nae Caranfil dramatizes the escapades of Ioanid Gang, a band of Romanian-Jewish intellectuals who subverted the Communist State with a bank robbery. The details of the robbery are theatrical, not violent, and there’s a surreal quality to its aftermath since the Party tries to make an example of them and fails. There are no heroics, and the gang are too realistic to think they’re martyrs. Instead, they achieve grace through black humor, which is sublime and defiant in its own right.

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