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I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians(Îmi este indiferent dacă în istorie vom intra ca barbari)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Romania, Germany, Bulgaria

2018

2h 20m

Director Radu Jude

Starring Ioana Iacob, Alex Bogdan, Alexandru Dabija, Ion Rizea

Genre Comedy, Drama, History

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An ambitious young theater director hired to create a public art project related to Romania's past faces censorship when she opts for something other than a show of cheerful patriotism. A funny, thoughtful, provocative look at a country’s reluctance to come to terms with its own history.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

CineVue by Ben Nicholson

The result is a formally loose, but dizzyingly dense and morally forthright examination of national attitudes and the myopia of nostalgia told through ranging meta-constructs and highfalutin debate.
90

Screen Daily by Demetrios Matheou

A dazzlingly dialectical and daring comedy/drama that skilfully brings past and present together and again challenges Jude’s compatriots to face up to the more unsavoury aspects of their history.
83

The Playlist by Gregory Ellwood

The film’s title isn’t just referring to the past, but what everyone involved witnesses in their communities everyday. By letting this fester and not confronting it dead on are we not saying we’re fine with being “barbarians’? It’s a credible question the filmmaker leaves you to ponder in private.
67

The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

At its core, Barbarians is about the failure of communication. (The subplot about Mariana’s affair is more important than it seems.) This places it into a long tradition of modernist responses to fascism that stretches back to Eugène Ionesco—though one still can’t shake the feeling that Jude is more interested in pointing out obvious ironies than in anything else.
90

Variety by Jessica Kiang

Of viciously pointed relevance anywhere populism is on the rise, “Barbarians” is a fiercely intelligent, engaging and challenging wake-up call, a film that leaves you smarter at the end than when you went in, but also sadder and significantly more terrified.
90

Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

The difficulty of turning mass spectacle into moral edification, of getting the public to think and care about history in ways that go beyond simple-minded patriotism, is a problem that this brilliantly multifaceted picture both critiques and embodies.
91

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

Much like his beleaguered lead character, Jude manages to maintain a rousingly lewd sense of humor for the duration of the film’s substantial running time.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Dalton

I Do Not Care if We Go Down in History as Barbarians is a mature, ambitious work from a spirited auteur who has mastered the cinematic rules well enough to break them with confidence.