Romanian director Cristi Puius’ Malmkrog will open the new section Encounters at the Berlinale. The film is produced by Anca Puiu, Mandragora, in co-production with Jörgen Andersson and Kjell Åhlund at Swedish Doppelganger and Film i Väst. The Göteborg company Cloudberry is post producing.

Synopsis: Nikolai, a large landowner, a man of the world, places his country estate at the disposal of some friends, by organising a sojourn at the spacious manor house. The estate is soon filled with high-society guests, boyars, officers and merriment. For the guests, among which we find a politician and a Russian General, time passes at the manor house with rich meals, society games and by engaging in a long discussion about death and the Antichrist, progress and morality.

As the discussion gradually takes shape and the various topics are broached, each of them lays out his vision of the world, history, and religion. The hours pass, the discussion becomes more heated, the topics become more and more serious, and differences of culture and viewpoints grow increasingly apparent. Whether for good reason or not, the guests end up exacerbating each other’s anxieties to the point that their conversation begins to be sorely strained. Finally, falling into the snare of their own discourse and believing that history never repeats itself, none of them is able to realise the extent of the event in which they have unwittingly come to be trapped.

Cristi Puiu was born on April 3, 1967 in Bucharest, Romania. He is a writer and director, known for Aurora (2010), The Death of Mister Lazarescu (2005) and Sieranevada (2016). Sieranevada was competing in Official Selection in Cannes and he won a Golden Bear in Berlin for Cigarettes and Coffee.