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The dehumanizing flaws of the modern medical system are exposed in this blackly comic Romanian drama. Shot like a documentary, this long but surprisingly engrossing tale charts the declining health of the title's eccentric, 60-something widower over one tragic night. Suffering from stomach pains, heavy-drinker Lazarescu is shuttled by ambulance between a series of Bucharest hospitals, as over-worked, inefficient and sometimes hideously uncaring doctors continually turn him away. The later it gets, the sicker the poor man becomes and with nobody except the female paramedic taking him seriously, his condition is soon life threatening. Yet while events are increasingly bleak, they're also powerfully affecting, thanks to brilliantly natural performances and an ultra-realistic atmosphere.
Powerful drama made in 1993 when it was daring to make a Hollywood film about AIDS, about a top lawyer sacked when his firm learns he has the disease.
11+ years 120 mins
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