Contemporary World Cinema | 2016 | 98 minutes
Stranger Says: Radu (Tudor Istodor), the wiry Romanian at the heart of this sly procedural, is always on the move. Rumpled and unshaven, the trainee photojournalist zips from assignment to assignment. When he isn’t working, he’s berating his girlfriend’s son for his swimming technique. He expects everyone to work as hard as he does. As a fixer, he assists a crew of French journalists in investigating a sex-trafficking ring, where his impatience meets its match in tough nuns and traumatized victims. Director Adrian Sitaru avoids moralizing as he depicts Radu’s dawning realization that there are things in life more important than winning. (KATHY FENNESSY)
SIFF Says:Radu (Tudor Aaron Istodor) is an ambitious young journalist with a scoop on a lurid sex scandal: Two underage Romanian girls forced into prostitution have just arrived back in Romania after being repatriated from France. Interested in making a name for himself and strengthening his connections with the international press, Radu gives the low-down to a French TV journalist who hires Radu as the local fixer. However, Radu’s obsession with the case soon threatens to compromise his work and his own family relationships. The Fixer deals with the lines between morality, abuse, and exploitation. Is Radu able to hold up emotionally when faced with the suffering endured by these girls? Will he do whatever it takes for the journalists? And what exactly is the difference between journalism and activism? Infused with natural lighting and handheld camera movement, The Fixer has the feel of a documentary with solid direction from Romanian New Wave filmmaker Adrian Sitaru (Illegitimate). Istodor also shines in a sobering performance, conveying the major emotional upheavals Radu goes through with subtle nuance, navigating his career between the exploited girls and the media circus.