A black comedy-infused drama from Romania taking on two tough subjects: abortion and incest

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 20 Feb 2017
Film title: Illegitimate
Director: Adrian Sitaru
Starring: Alina Grigore, Adrian Titieni, Robi Urs, Bogdan Albulescu, Cristina Olteanu

The predominate theme of Illegitimate, from Romanian director Adrian Sitaru, is that of love in extreme scenarios. One of these is delivered immediately in the film’s opening 15-minute-reunion sequence, which very quickly turns into an extended verbal sparring between a patriarch doctor (Titieni) and his adult offspring. The brood have discovered that under the Ceausescu regime, the father reported woman attempting to get abortions to the authorities, with the man seeing nothing immoral about his actions.

This causes a major rift between the various key players of the film’s narrative, but not long after that we’re treated to a reveal of Illegitimate’s most dominant extreme scenario when it comes to love: the youngest of the kids, twenty-something twins Sasha (Grigore) and Romeo (Robi), are secretly lovers, and suddenly facing the prospect of a child of their own as a result of their incestuous affair.

A black comedy-infused take on an abortion drama, Illegitimate’s story turns don’t always land when it comes to tone, but it’s aided by an intimate shooting style and strong cast.

Illegitimate screens at Glasgow Film Festival: 20 Feb, CCA, 8.30pm | 21 Feb, CCA, 1.30pm

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