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Set in a small town in Romania, R.M.N. is a challenging slow-burn that explores what happens to an insular community upon the arrival of immigrants from South Asia. Initially, the discrimination thrown at them seems tame; at the very least, it’s how you’d expect a homogenous and tight-knit group to react to outsiders. But more and more, the prejudice takes on cruel forms. Stakes are raised until it becomes life or death for the people involved.
It’s a chilling examination of society, of the lengths people are willing to go to to avoid change and prolong their ignorance. But while there are few things scarier than the violence brought on by racism, the phantom elements in this film come close. Director Cristian Mungiu does an impressive job of painting his picture with a haunting tone; there are streaks of the supernatural in this film, making it a biting horror in more ways than one.
As is often the case in great filmmaking, it’s hard to pin R.M.N. down to one genre, but thanks to its eerie perceptiveness, it goes down in history as one of the best films about xenophobia made.
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