| Updated at: 0958 PST, Thursday, November 25, 2010|
LOS ANGELES: Set against the staunch bureaucratic backdrop of international border politics, "Morgen" is an oddball, gently-observed, fish-out-of-water tale that leaves an impression despite its languid, low-key tone.
Working with a cast of regional actors, Romanian filmmaker Marian Crisan refrains from firing more pointed satirical barbs to make his case for tolerance in the face of ever-tightening government regulations. His efforts were rewarded with multiple prizes at this year's Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.
While out fishing, Nelu, a middle-aged, mild-mannered supermarket security guard (Andras Hathazi) lands more than he bargained for when he encounters Behran, an illegal Turkish immigrant (Yilmaz Yalcin) ducking Romanian-Hungarian border police.
Despite the tricky language barrier (the impish, bearded Turk's lines aren't even accompanied by subtitles), Nelu offers the cold, hungry man refuge back at his rural farmhouse, much to the irritation of his bossy wife (Elvira Rimbu). In the process of trying to figure out how to smuggle his unintended guest across the border into Hungary, Nelu and Behran end up forming a curiously engaging bond.
Allowing his story to unfold in extended wide-angle shots that underscore the unhurried daily regimen of Nelu's small-town existence, writer-director Crisan puts an accessible human face on the subjects of politics and xenophobia. While it recalls Danis Tanovic's Oscar-winning "No Man's Land" (depicting the 1993 war between Bosnia and Herzegovina) in its examination of the folly of international conflict, Morgen takes a less biting approach to its brand of satire, allowing its universal truths to unfold organically, with the patience of a seasoned fisherman intent on landing the big catch.