Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Tertium non datur 2006

Directed by Lucian Pintilie

Romanian WWII tale from absurdist Lucian Pintilie (The Oak) told with bite and acidic flair as Romanians confront German officers in a commandeered schoolhouse toward the end of WWII.

France / Romania In German and Romanian with English subtitles
39 minutes 35mm



Lucian Pintilie. Based on the short story 'Capul de zimbru' by Vasile Voiculescu


Silviu Stavilă


Melania Oproiu


Victor Rebengiuc
Sorin Leoveanu
Tudor Istodor
Cornel Scripcaru
Bogdan Stanoevici


Berlin 2006


The bite and acidic humour of Tertium non datur will be familiar to all who recall the great Romanian absurdist Lucian Pintilie’s marvellous The Oak. His latest is set entirely (and ingeniously) within a commandeered schoolhouse towards the end of WWII. Romanian soldiers are playing humble, expectant hosts to two complacent German officers, one solid and silent; the other slender, erudite and extremely talkative. An allegory about lost honour and disintegrating national identity forms around the disappearance, during their meagre but formal luncheon, of a rare postage stamp. An engaging cast of comedians play out this mystery in an exquisitely dry but fruity style. 

“Filmmaking of the rarest purity and perfection, as befits a film that speculates about the true nature of purity and the bloody folly of it all.” — Olaf Möller, Film Comment