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Documentary about the after-effects of a deadly Bucharest fire is horrific, immediate, essential filmmaking
COLLECTIVE DOCS D: Alexander Nanau. Romania/Luxembourg. Sep 12, 3:15 pm, Scotiabank 4. Rating: NNNNN
In October 2015, a fire at the Colectiv club in Bucharest killed 27 concertgoers and injured another 180, sparking a national protest that brought down the Romanian government. After the disaster, dozens of survivors died in hospital of easily preventable bacterial infections, leading the journalists at the Sports Gazette newspaper to uncover a larger scandal within the country’s health-care system.
Collective is remarkable for the efficiency with which director/editor Nanau follows the various threads of his story, which plays out over a year as Catalin Tolontan and his squad of reporters expose deep bureaucratic corruption that’s left hospitals unable to provide the most basic levels of cleanliness and care, which left incoming health minister Vlad Voiculescu – a former patients’ rights advocate – scrambling to address each new crisis.
It’s horrific, immediate, essential filmmaking. Not to be missed.