The Romanian director Radu Jude’s “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn”, a sexually explicit dark comedy of the everyday aggression experienced by a teacher in contemporary Bucharest, won the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear award.
Judges hailed the film, starring Katia Pascariu as the teacher whose private sex tape is leaked, triggering a witch hunt by parents of the children at her school, as a “lasting artwork” that “attacked” the viewer. “It captures on screen the very content and essence, the mind and body, the values and raw flesh of our present moment in time,” the jury of this year’s online festival said in a statement.
The film, which opens with a lengthy shot of Pascariu having sex with a partner in porn style, continues depicting the dozens of aggressive acts to which she, a woman in the city, is subjected over the course of a day running errands in Romania’s frenetic capital. Shot in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the film shows almost every character wearing a mask, but the viewer is left with the sense that the poison people inject into their own environment is as destructive as any virus.
Shopkeepers, taxi drivers and the Romanian orthodox church are all targets of the film’s ire, which culminates in a grotesque tribunal composed of the middle-class parents of the elite school where Pascariu teaches. Moral paragons to a fault, they carefully watch her sex tape before passing judgment.