2019 | Documentary | 109 minutes | Romanian with English subtitles
When a fire consumes the Colectiv, a Bucharest nightclub, 27 people die and 180 are injured. There are protests that the nightclub did not have sufficient fire exits. But this becomes a national scandal when it’s reported that an additional 37 people died due to negligence and bacterial infections in the hospitals. Journalist Catalin Tolontan investigates and finds that a large pharmaceutical company, Hexi Pharma, has been providing the hospitals with a diluted disinfectant. As the Minister of Health is questioned, he resigns. A criminal investigation of Dan Condrea, head of Hexi Pharma, takes place but he mysteriously dies in a car crash. Doctors meet with Vlad Voiculescu, the Minister of Health, and inform him how hospital management avoided the problems while people were dying, how patients were treated inhumanely, and how corruption was rampant. Vlad makes an effort to fix the problems but eventually realizes the whole system is rotten. As Election Day arrives there’s hope for a change. Sadly, the same political party is re-elected in a landslide and the resulting feeling is that nothing will change.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 100%
- Metacritic Score: 95
- Zurich Film Festival: Winner, Best International Documentary
- Academy Awards: Selected as Romanian entry
- The film received a perfect 100% Rotten Tomatoes score
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COLLECTIVE is devastating in its accumulation of detail and in its acknowledgment of the ongoing human cost. The film is a reminder that sometimes systems refuse to change on their own. A bad system can remain untouched because too many people involved benefit from it.
Director/writer Alexander Nanau’s observational style of filmmaking reaches emotional depths. Tense and tightly edited, this exposé of heartless corruption will ring bells and outrage audiences.
The cynicism and indifference to suffering is truly horrible. A kind of insidious evil rises from the screen like carbon monoxide.
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