Closer to the Moon

Synopsis: Bucharest 1959. A spectacular Bank heist has the country in an uproar. In post-war Communist Romania it is an unimaginable slap in the face to the iron fisted authorities. Four men and a woman are arrested, tried, convicted and while waiting for their execution... are forced to star in a propaganda film about the crime. All five protagonists were heroes of the resistance during the Second World War and highly placed members of Romanian society. They clearly knew they would be caught and executed.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Nae Caranfil
Production: IFC Films
  9 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min


We're shooting a film.

- What is it?

- I don't know.


Let me explain, it's very

simple. We pretend to rob you.

Get out of the car slowly

with your hands in the air.

Just like you've seen

in the movies.

Come on, come on.

I want you to put

the money in the van.

The money in the van!

Come on, come on.

Show some enthusiasm.

So now we're making

gangster films, are we?

Why not? I'm fed up with movies

about factories and construction sites.

Still, when it comes to action

scenes you can't beat the Americans.

You bastard!

Don't worry, we're just

making a film!

I've never seen anything

like that, have you?

- See you.

- Bye.


Lord, in thy great bounty

screw the Bolsheviks.

Give them every disease

in the world, ruin them.

Burn their houses and send them

back to Moscow. Amen.

Did you, uh, did you hear

any of that?

No, Mr. Moritz, sir. Nothing.

Yeah, good. In my house,

the tenant is deaf.

If he starts to hear,

we raise the rent.

Leave him be, Moritz.

Oh, so what already?

What can I do to him anyway?

He's young, he's down

from the north

his parents are poor,

his future is golden.

One day they'll stick a party-card

in his pocket and boom!

We'll all be at his mercy!

Don't mind him.

He's old and crazy.

That is true.

I bought my mentally handicapped

certificate 10 years ago.

They can't touch me anymore.

Have some potatoes.

It drives me mad

seeing him there all day

with his ear glued

to that rattling old radio.

She's so sweet.

It's called

the "Voice of America"

and it's jammed

by the Bolsheviks.

And guess what I saw

this morning?

A film shoot! On Martyrs' Square,

right outside the canteen.

- They were making a movie.

- What movie?

Action movie, with gangsters,

and cars, and gunfire.

- And dames?

- There was one woman.

She was shooting a machine gun.

- Jean Harlow.

- Sorry?

Jean Harlow, big movie star.

Made some famous films

before the war.

Oh, they don't make films

like that any more.

As if you ever went

to the movies.

I don't need to. I read

the papers, I see the titles.

"The Third Man,"

"The Seventh Seal," "12 Angry Men."

All those numbers

make your head spin!

Uh, th...

"The Cranes Are Flying."

Now, I never knew

they could do that.

"Singing in the Rain," now th... That's

how a cousin of mine died, pneumonia.

"An American in Paris,"

big deal!

Now, if it were Bucharest

instead of Paris

and not alone, but with 10,

no, 20 tank divisions

that I would rush to see.

Here, let me show you something.

Here are some of the films

and stars we had before the war.

- Let's go.

- Yeah, yeah.


Carefully, carefully.

Take this one here first.

Quickly. We don't have all day.

Put these here in the back.

Yeah, these two here.

Good morning, Maestro Flaviu.

Morning, morning.

- What are we shooting today?

- The parade rehearsal.

- What parade?

- The Liberation Day Parade.

Oh, you don't say.

Is it August already?

Do I know you from somewhere?

Do me a favor, will you?

Run over to the shop

around the corner

and buy me a bottle of vodka.


Wait. Wait, wait.

Are you doing anything today?

Well, you are now.

Pour the vodka into this thermos

put it in your pocket and give

it to me whenever I ask for it.

And never ever leave my side.

Off you go then.

Go on, f*** off!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, stop.

Five minute break.

We're finished.

Pack the gear up

and I'll meet you at the van.

What's that lens called?

It's a zoom.

It's the latest thing.

- Three lei to look through it.

- Up yours!

I should charge you

just to stand next to it.

Okay, I'm game.

No, no. There.

Move in.

- Yeah.

- Nice, nice.

Come on.

Look at those knockers.

Sure, scratch your little ass.

Feels good, eh?

Hey, Virgil! The boss wants

to see you. Now.

- Sorry, time's up.

- What..

Come in.

Ah, the young man

we told you about.

Comrade Holban of

the State Security Service.

This is your lucky day, sonny.

The comrades have given

us a mission.

We're going to make a short film

about a rather, special event.

All our cameramen are busy

on the parade right now.

So Maestro Flaviu and I have decided

it was time you took the plunge.

You start

the day after tomorrow.

I... Comrades,

you've made the right decision!

You don't say!

It's a great honor

and... and

and I... I solemnly swear

not to disappoint you.


Hardly a great start.

I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.

You'll need some preparation, given the

rather special nature of the film.

Radoiu Maximilian,

Dorneanu Dumitru, Orodel Razvan

Ristea Yorgu,

and Bercovich Alice

are charged with attacking and robbing,

on August 15th, 1959

a National Bank of Romania car,

while it delivered funds

to the branch located

at Number 13, Martyrs' Square.

Opposite the maternity

hospital at number...

Are these the masks they were

wearing in Martyrs' Square?

- Yes.

- Yes.

Witnesses, do you stand by

the statements

you made during

the investigation?

- Yes.

- Yes.

You think this is funny,

you piece of scum?

You're having a good time?

Comrade prosecutor,

your summation.

On the morning of

the 15th of August, 1959

5 bloodthirsty hyenas were

stalking their prey.

A car belonging to

the National State Bank

delivering 2 million

lei in payroll

for thousands of decent,

hardworking communists.

Armed with pistols

and machine guns

they violently attacked a driver

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Nae Caranfil

Nae Caranfil (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈna.e karanˈfil]; also Nicolae Caranfil) (born 1960, Bucharest) is a Romanian film director and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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