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The Whistlers La Gomera

Corneliu Porumboiu / Romania, Germany, France / 2019 / 97 min

An original take on the thriller genre tinged with humour, Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Whistlers contains unmistakable traces of the Romanian New Wave.

festivals, awards Cannes 2019, Sydney 2019, Munich 2019


Cristi, a Romanian police officer who is a whistle blower for mafia and therefore plays both sides of the law, is going to La Gomera Island to learn an ancestral whistling language. In Romania he is under police surveillance and by using this coded language he will continue to communicate with the mobsters to get Zsolt out of prison. Zsolt is the only one who knows where 30 million euros are hidden. Embarked by the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of treachery and deception.

"The Romanian title refers to the name of this island in the Canaries, a place to get away from it all, a lost paradise. The French and English titles refer to the mysterious whistled language that exists in many different places in the world but whose roots are unknown. I like to speculate that this language is our original or primal tongue, before that of speech. This island of La Gomera is closely linked to the tradition of these whistles." (Corneliu Porumboiu)

Corneliu Porumboiu
Born in 1975 in Romania, Porumboiu graduated from the University of Bucharest in 2003. After receiving a Cinéfondation grant, he directed his debut feature, 12:08 East of Bucharest, in 2005. The film premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section in Cannes and received the Best Debut Film Award. In 2009, Police, Adjective won the Un Certain Regard Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

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