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Film / Philanthropy

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"Once, there was a city whose inhabitants were either princes or beggars. Between them, there was nothing but stray dogs."
Opening Title Card
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Philanthropy (original: Filantropica) is a 2002 Romanian dark comedy film directed by Nae Caranfil.

Ovidiu is a high-school teacher and struggling writer who still lives with his parents. He falls in love with Diana, the sister of one of his students. In order to impress her he agrees to a scam thought up by the roguish Pavel Puiut.


This film provides examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: We learn that all girls at the high school were after school bully Robert.
  • Axes at School: One of the thugs coming from Robert pulls out a gun in class.
  • Basement-Dweller: Ovidiu is a grown-up man with a day job as a teacher but due to economical difficulties he is still living with his parents.
  • Daydream Surprise: In one scene we see Ovidiu bring Diane home at his parents' apartment where they start making out in his room. Then the father suddenly interrupts their intimacy showing him the phone and power bills. The scene is revealed to be a bad dream when Ovidiu wakes up on his typewriter.
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  • How We Got Here: The movie opens with a scene midway through the plot and the lead character asks how they got there. Then the scene skips some months back to when it all began.
  • Impairment Shot: From Ovidiu's POV when he receives a brutal beating by the waiter.
  • Male Gaze: The camera movement across Diana's body when Ovidiu meets her in class.
  • Media Scrum: When Ovidiu come home, which was a fake home set up by Puiut, he is faced with an impatient crowd of reporters.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Bucescu, one Ovidiu's students, is always seen talking on the phone.

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