The Romanian/German coproduction SCARRED HEARTS-the film adaptation of the autobiographical novel by Max Blecher, which won the Don Quixote Award and a Special Jury Prize in Locarno, and Best Director in Mar del Plata last year--has played several US festivals in the months leading up to its late July 2018 theatrical release. 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.
- Jul 27, 2018