O lacrima de fata (1980) - full transcript

A MAIDEN'S TEAR

{\an8}SBS recommends mature audience viewing{\an8}

Is it difficult
to become a film producer?

During my long trip
around the country

I saw beautiful landscapes,
many wonderful places.

I really regretted
not having a camera.

I could have made a movie.

I'm platoon leader Amariei Ion.

Welcome. We expected you.

You're staying with Mr. Moraru,
the retired teacher.

Do you want to discuss things now?
Or what?



Please follow me.

He should be home by now.

Chairman Urdareanu
thinks the villagers...

have their own ideas
on the girl's death.

But, at this time of year,
they're busy.

They're working in the fields.

Urdareanu asked me to tell you that.

Anything else?

She was raised in an orphanage.

As a baby,
she was found near a tavern.

She studied agriculture at high school.

18 months ago she was transferred.

Two months ago she was back.

She was blamed for the loss of 4200 lei.



Next day, they found her in the river.

- Any other statements?
- No.

No others.

What was the loss?

A hundred bags of fertilizer.

Is that all?

- Good day, Major...
- Wait a second.

No!

My name is Vasile Urdareanu.

I'm chairman
of the agrarian cooperative.

Our village is proud
of its achievements.

280 new houses,

150 new TV sets,

87 washing machines...

Not to mention
power supply and heating.

We were among the first
to introduce all that.

We're not perfect, though.
If you work you make mistakes.

This year we reaped 6000 kg
of maize per hectare.

1000 kg more than last year.

3000 kg of potatoes,
2000 of beetroot.

Dear comrades,

all in all,
this year we made a fortune.

What else
would you like to know?

Everything.

We were even praised
by the leadership.

However, dear comrades,

someone sprung a murder on us.

Just the thought
makes me feel ashamed.

Who told you it was murder?

If it wasn't, why are you here?

The prestige of your village
will not be the loser.

I know you'd like
to see this case solved...

For the sake of the truth.

Of course... I'd be delighted.

I'd love to get to the truth
as soon as we can.

We didn't even deduct the loss
from her salary.

She kept blowing the whistle.

As if we were all thieves
except for her.

I mean, even if we are peasants,

we still read books. We're not ignorant.

A year ago, the Committee fired her.

Some time ago she came back.
She behaved.

Then... you know what happened.

She was too easy...

after her boyfriend was called up.

She was bragging about marrying Amariei.

What was wrong with that?

They were both single.

But if you like someone
you don't brag about it.

Dear sir, I don't know anything.

Except Pricope beating her
and tearing her blouse.

She was embarrassed.

She died of shame.

I don't know. I didn't see a thing.

Almost nothing.
I'm in the fields all the time.

Nothing. I'm the postman.

If it suits me...
I might know a few things.

You mind your own business.

Nothing much...

Only that...

I liked her! She was so polite.

And she was so beautiful.

She was well educated. You could tell.

- Yes, she did speak...
- She spoke very well.

She spoke beautifully.

She was a good speaker.

She asked a lot of questions.

"Why isn't this done?"
"Why this... why that?"

She was inquisitive.

If we think hard it'll come to us.

Poor girl...

She was so good.

In her way she was good.

But, as I said, now she's dead and...

She was buried in the village cemetery.

I don't know how she died.
I heard lots of theories.

People gossip.

They make a big thing out of nothing.

I couldn't make a statement
on that basis.

She died of shame.

Comrades, I know she'd hold meetings.

And at the last meeting she held...

I think she wasn't even there.

Besides...

Please disregard my previous comment.

It wasn't true.

In fact it wasn't her, but someone else.

What can I tell you...

There are many stories about this girl.

All I know about her is...

She had a heart of gold.

- She had many plans.
- Nevertheless...

According to the minutes
the girl wasn't a speaker.

The pages are numbered.
There's none missing.

Another thing.
Urdareanu wasn't surprised...

by all the local gossip.

- Panaitescu...
- Yes.

- You know our rule?
- No.

Don't rush.

Let's focus on the facts.

If Pricope was still here
the night of the girl's death

he may have something to say.

Why not arrest him?

- I told you our rule.
- What?

Don't rush!

I have a feeling I was followed...

By a woman.

Panaitescu...
you might have a lead.

When was her last visit?

Shortly before she died.

- Was she sick?
- No, she wasn't.

Why did she come?

She was here for a check-up.
A routine thing.

Meaning?

She wasn't pregnant.

Did you notice any traces of violence
on her body?

Scratches? Bruises, perhaps?

Nothing.

- Pardon?
- He used to beat her up.

- Did he?
- Yes.

- Did you witness it?
- Yes.

- You saw it?
- Yes, I saw him beat her.

- Panaitescu!
- Yes...

That's where they found her.

Who identified her?

To me it wasn't just another death.

The body was found there
because of the current.

If our assumptions are right,

the current should have carried it
towards the bridge.

- What else was found?
- A dress, underwear, sandals.

- Anything else?
- Her panties.

Up there!

- Was she naked?
- Yes.

Wasn't she wearing a bra?

- No.
- At least you know that.

She chose a dangerous spot,
for a non-swimmer.

Why not a place
she was familiar with?

Alone or in company?

Was she alone?

Alone.
The fact she was naked proves that.

Could she swim?

Some people say she could.

What do you think?

I never went with her
to the river.

How could you let it happen?

- The rules...
- Nonsense!

No rule says a policeman
can't be a man.

- Was she sunbathing there?
- Yes.

Someone must have seen
what happened to Ana Draga.

I saw a photo
taken by someone else.

I know...
but I didn't dare tell you.

Good day!

You frightened me!

I've come from Bucharest...

It's about your former lodger,
Ana Draga.

- I'm not deaf.
- The girl who...

I'm not deaf!

Move the flower... more...

Stop... more...

That's it.

- How long did she live here?
- Over a year.

She ate here too.
Breakfast and dinner.

- Tell me about her.
- I have photos...

I kept them.
Pity. She was so beautiful.

She didn't eat much
so as not to put on weight.

If you ask me, a skinny woman
isn't worth a red cent.

- Anyway, can you tell me...
- Okay...

Amariei said to tell you all I know.

I would have told you
the truth anyway.

I'd have no reason to lie.

- How did she drown?
- Panaitescu!

Well... people say many things.

I heard she'd go
to the river by herself.

She loved swimming.

I don't know. I never saw her.

Here, grown-up women

only go there to harvest the hemp.

They only go in knee-deep.

I grew up along the river banks...

but no swimming.

Stop!

The rent was only 200.

I gave her everything,
bedsheets and all.

I had no one to share with... only her.

Do you know that man?

I can't see that far.

I think it's Moraru, our teacher.

He usually goes for a walk over there.

Film it.

It's worth filming here.

Our village lies
in a beautiful landscape.

I'm sorry I wasn't at home.

- Apostol Moraru.
- Glad to meet you.

Amariei said you were here.
He's a very nice man.

You agreed to it.
Our visit here is no secret.

I'd rather be just a host.

Any special reason for that?

Moraru...

I didn't get to see it,
but I got word of it.

She lured him up there to wear him down.

I saw it myself.

Don't ask me.
I don't know what happened.

We ran to see what had happened.

I didn't even see him.

I wasn't even in the village.

Incredible how turbulent
those waters are.

There are so many whirlpools.

As kids we used to swim in that river.

Lucky we never got caught
in a whirlpool.

- Were you there?
- No. I know nothing.

I was scared.

I thought it wrong
to treat the teacher like that.

He was just trying
to straighten things out.

It was he who helped set up
the collective farms.

Since then,
people have turned against him.

If it weren't for Urdareanu
and his gun

he'd be dead by now.

Come here.

Come over here.

I just want to ask you something.

- Did you know Ana Draga?
- Yes... a little.

We didn't meet very often.

One day she wanted to talk to me.

But I didn't feel like it.

How could I know she was going to die?

When I learned she drowned here...

here, in this very spot,
I almost died...

I've come here
to be alone with my thoughts.

The water was up to that sign.

- I can see it...
- Seven metres deep.

The deepest point was right here.

The water's receded because of the site.

- What are they building?
- I think it's a dam...

I don't know for sure.
It should be a dam.

What else can I tell you?

It's my village and I love it like this.

I go to people's weddings...

I'm their children's godfather...
that's all.

Hands down. Did you take any photos?

Yes.

- The negatives?
- I have them.

- Make me a copy of them.
- Yes, sir.

I'll wait. Where do I know you from?

I forgot to tell you a small detail.

Her panties were torn.

I was embarrassed to say so in public.

- I didn't. I work all day.
- Right.

I look after the fields, a calf,

and this huge house.

- Work pays around here.
- Of course.

- Urdareanu is a nice man.
- Is he?

Ana could have made it too,
but she was too nosy.

May her soul rest in peace.

Heavens, the whole village
talks only about her.

- She was a nice girl.
- A good girl.

A nice girl. May she rest in peace.

There are also women alive...

God, I almost said it...

All the village will know
you honored my house.

Well, dear...

I'll call you Iustina and...

- You'll call me...
- Panaitescu.

Panaitescu, that's right.

- They're filming us.
- No, they're not.

They're doing their job.

I told you. My visit here is informal.

I'd have chosen to stay at your place.

Last time I was here I liked it.

It's a beautiful house.

- Voronet blue...
- What?

- Nice design.
- Nice...

In my younger days I was a good singer.

Right.

Like fire... it's the best.

- They're filming us.
- No.

I'm telling you. They are.

If I'd known
I'd have tidied the place up.

I have a rug, plates and so on.

It's me in that photo. I have more.

Here I was at a wedding.

- That's in the courtyard.
- Where, here?

And that's a photo of me at school.

There are more.

Nothing interesting here.

- In this photo I was little...
- Just a baby...

Leave that alone. It wasn't hers.

I didn't have time to return it.

Iustina, why do you need
that piece of wood?

I don't.

- Then who does?
- She did.

At night, instead of having fun,
she'd measure the land.

That's why they fired her.

Pricope was her other problem.
Always jealous and drunk.

- Who, Pricope?
- Yes.

I warned her against jealous men
who love a drink.

- Good advice.
- She didn't listen.

A sort of fine loess...

Why do you think she measured the land?

I'm here.

What type of soil is this?

- Where did you get it?
- My hobby is collecting soil.

This laboratory is nice and quiet.

It's not often I get to meet
such a dedicated man.

Yes, it's loess.
It has a very fine texture.

Please, stop filming.

The place is a mess.
What's the point of filming?

Yes, I have a few samples.

It's a pity my students come by
very seldom.

Thank you, comrade Moraru.

Major, you haven't been frank with me.

You didn't tell me the truth.
I thought...

- Why involve you?
- At first I thought of lying.

It was your wish not to get involved.

Can you tell me if this soil
is from the village?

Comrade Major,
it's from the people's hearts...

Good bye.

I have no more doubts.

Someone is guilty...

of the girl's death.

A murderer who...

right now,
is wandering about, terrified.

What are we waiting for?

Why is he still free?

I'm curious to see who'll confess first.

After yesterday's events
it won't be the teacher,

nor Amariei.

That's what I'm counting on.

There's a link
between the teacher and Amariei.

A sort of tension.

It seems odd
we stayed at the teacher's house.

Good morning.
Comrade Chairman sent me.

Sit down.

He must have told you
why he sent you.

Yes, he did.

- You're Pricope...
- Turdean.

- Turdean or Turdeanu?
- Turdean.

- No "u"?
- That's right.

How did you hear she'd died?

My mother sent me a telegram.

You must know Ana Draga drowned.

The circumstances are mysterious.

Do you think she had any reason
to kill herself?

I don't think so.

Nobody commits suicide without a reason.

When was the last time you saw her?

The evening of my last day of leave.

What did you talk about?

I asked her to marry me.

Is that all?

I told her I couldn't live without her.

Is that all?

No.

I also told her to stop getting involved

in that land and fertilizer affair.

She said
she couldn't pay back the money.

Anything else?

Maybe she thought
I wasn't good enough for her.

She saw me drunk a few times.

I got drunk because of her.

She didn't intend to live
in the village very long.

She dreamt of going to university.

Did you tell her
you couldn't live without her?

Yes, but only because
it was a nice thing to say.

I wanted to marry her, no matter what.

Tell me...

did she say anything
that caught your attention?

Anything that made you wonder.

I told you about paying back the money.

Anything else to say?

I've told you everything.

You may go.

When she said goodbye
on the way to the station...

Where was she going?

I don't know. Maybe home.

As far as I know she was carrying this.

Why did she measure the land?

Our conversation...

- It revealed that...
- I never said that!

Panaitescu, he didn't say it.

Do you think I don't know what I said?

Listen, young man,
you didn't love that girl.

On the way to the station
did you see anyone else?

Yes, Corbei.

Who was on that tractor?

- Well, it was...
- The tractor driver.

The young guy... what's his name?

- Miclos.
- That's right.

Why were people running?

To see what it was.

We gathered to see who or what it was.

The girl.
She was covered with a white sheet.

Can you see yourself in this photo?

Were you there?

- Is this you?
- Yes, but not in this one.

Which one?

- Where are you?
- She can't see.

Was she there? Which is you?

I'm in this photo too.
Next to my godmother.

- Was the teacher there?
- No, I didn't see him.

- The tractor was there.
- What about the driver?

He couldn't get her out.
The tractor got stuck.

Two men dragged her out
almost up to the tractor.

- Are these the men?
- Yes, that's Popa Augustin.

And... what's your name? Radu!

Seeing the girl there
gave the village a shock.

Were you there when they got her out?

- Yes.
- Which one is you?

- This one.
- Really?

- Yes.
- What state was she in?

Dead in the water!

- Were you there?
- Not at all.

- That's me!
- Really?

Me and my wife.

Had she been pulled out of the water?

Yes, she was out of the water.
The body was covered.

- Did you see Iustina there?
- No.

Can you spot yourself in these photos?

What about her clothes?
Did you see them?

They found her clothes there,
near the river.

Were they near the river or uphill?

Further... further uphill!

That's from the local tavern...

That woman in the street is Lenuta.

The bar-tender's husband is so stuck-up.

He doesn't care about us.

Who took those photos?

- Mr. Nica did.
- Nica!

- Is he a photographer?
- Well, he has a camera...

This morning I saw Pricope.

Major!

Then I saw Amariei, also in a hurry.

Then a deathly silence.

- I thought you'd given up...
- Comrade teacher Moraru!

Look.

Moraru, why were you afraid
I might leave?

- Has anything happened?
- No, Comrade Major.

Urdareanu asked me what was happening.

I told him I knew nothing.
He didn't believe me.

Trust you, always ready
to twist words around!

Moraru, from those twisted words,
we police draw

extraordinary conclusions!

May I have a look too?

What's that smoke down there?

No... it's not...

It's only the chimney of a house.

It's not really a house.

In this village
we had no big landowners.

There was only one rich man.

Craciun.

There was also a man named Turdean.

He was Craciun's servant.

And then Corbei. He was a servant too.

In the spring of 1949

all this land was owned by Craciun.

A mob came to take away his land.

Corbei and Turdean joined the mob.

When Corbei saw Craciun loading his gun

he knocked him to the ground
and took the gun.

And he pushed Craciun's wife
into a fire burning nearby.

With her dress on fire

the woman ran towards the river.

She jumped into it.

Right here!

It happened right here. And she drowned.

- In this very spot?
- Yes, Major.

An interesting coincidence!

- As if this place was cursed.
- True.

What a beautiful stick.

- I made it. Do you like it?
- Yes.

By the way,
Craciun's house was down there.

It was a very beautiful house.

People modeled their houses on it.

But in Craciun's absence
nobody took care of it.

- Why was he away?
- Major!

What's that man doing there?

- He's eating dirt.
- What do you mean?

He's eating it as if it were bread.

Does Craciun live alone?

He has a daughter, Iustina.

- Is that Iustina Craciun?
- Yes, why?

I didn't kill Ana.

It wasn't me who did it.
Please, come in.

Come into my house.

My modest house
which I built with my own hands.

Why not build in the village
like everyone else?

- Urdareanu drove me out...
- Are you sick?

- Are you sick?
- No, not any more.

- I'm all right now.
- Why did he drive you out?

He told the police...

that I rallied people
against the cooperative.

- You didn't?
- I've nothing to do with them.

- So it's not true.
- No, he's lying.

When I said he lied
and didn't care for the land,

he drove me out of town.

Hold on!

- Why would Urdareanu lie?
- He doesn't like criticism.

- Why?
- I said the land...

can't yield 4500 per hectare.
Only 3000.

I can tell by looking at it.

I take ten ears, count the grains...

- And I can tell.
- Hold on.

You say you didn't kill Ana.
You know it was murder.

As for Ana, I can only say...

She didn't want any lies.

- A happy girl.
- So you knew her.

Of course I knew her.

Apart from my daughter,
she was my only visitor.

And you're only the third!

- You said she was happy.
- A happy girl.

Major, you'll get nothing out of me.

- See? I know your rank.
- How?

From my daughter Iustina.

I know yours, and his too.

Playing the fool won't help.

Don't hit me.

See what you did to me?

Comrade Major, please...

Why play the fool?

- To get off the hook.
- You annoy me.

Major, kindly accept this sword.

A small obstacle to oblivion.

Please accept this sword.

Find a sheath and it'll look brand new.

What a gentleman!

A bit more heat,
and he'd have spilt the beans.

- Panaitescu, what's wrong?
- Nothing, sir.

That's the last straw. A deaf woman!

Last night,
the deaf woman took me to a house

and showed me a man.

Let me guess... Urdareanu!

No.

- Corbei.
- Who's he?

You'll meet him.

Major!

- Who's Corbei?
- The Brigade Leader.

Hello.

Yes, it's me.

Yes, sir.

I thought I'd be told
not to measure the land.

Which means I should have measured it.

Anything else?

Yes, sir.

As of today,
questioning will be done here.

- Near the phone.
- Yes, sir.

Corbei!

Sir!

Corbei... my name is Iona Corbei.

Major, I know what you want to ask me.

- Did you know Ana Draga?
- Yes, she worked in my team.

A good girl.

You met Pricope the night he left.

Yes, I met him. He was with the girl.

- What did you talk about?
- With her... nothing.

- With him?
- I don't remember

I see...

- You're the brigade leader.
- I got to like this land.

- So you stayed here.
- That's right.

Okay...

- Did you see the girl again?
- No.

After you met Pricope?

I saw her the next day
in a neighboring village.

She was on a hilltop, lying in the sun.

When I turned back
to have a better look at her...

She wasn't there any more.

I thought she was hiding.

I just kept going.

Next thing I heard she had drowned.

Why not go to the police?

If they'd called me I would have gone.

If they'd called you...

- Coffee?
- No, thanks.

So, you were the last person
to see her alive.

I don't know about that,
but I did see her.

Please...

Comrade Major,
I know why you summoned me.

You talked to Craciun.
He lies about me all the time.

He's not telling the truth.

- I know.
- You don't.

Madam Craciun...

She liked being called that...

She walked around naked in front of me.

- What do you mean "naked"?
- Well...

She'd have almost nothing on.

Once she touched me
and my head went spinning.

Then she screamed rape.

Her husband called the police
and they beat me up.

That's why I pushed her into the fire.

Why did he kill Turdean and not you?

- I'll tell you why.
- Tell me.

Turdean had a daughter, Saveta.
I liked her.

Craciun knew I visited her at night.

At the trial he admitted he knew that.

But not that he meant to kill me,
not Turdean...

or to commit any crime.

Saveta and I used to meet
in the barn and make love.

But that night I wasn't there
and neither was Saveta.

Turdean was in the barn, sleeping.

That's how Turdean died, Major.

When you saw the girl

was she at the top
or at the bottom of the hill?

She was sunbathing
at the top of the hill.

- Did anyone else see you?
- There was no one around.

- So you did look around.
- Well, Major, I did.

You know what men are like
when they feel like...

You do it yourself.
You must tread warily.

We may no longer be serfs,
but our shame is still there.

Come over, please.

My father-in-law turns 86 today.

My wife and I would like you
to film him too.

- Please don't say no.
- It's a pleasure.

- Let's go.
- What about him?

Changed your mind?

Who's that woman who can't speak?

- Saveta!
- Turdean's daughter.

Her father was Craciun's servant.

One night Craciun killed him.

She found him in the barn,
his face blown off.

The shock did something to her brain.

She would have been different
if it weren't for Corbei.

She still spoke.
He saw her for one thing...

After he got her pregnant
he stopped seeing her.

You want to keep Corbei out of this.

People say what they know.

Only my wife says what she hopes is so.

Corbei...

was the last person
to see Ana Draga alive.

He saw her on the hill.

He must have wanted
to get a closer look.

That's a serious allegation.

Don't you know he's a womanizer?

You almost banned him from the Party

for having an affair.
Shouldn't they know that too?

Comrades, have another drink.

Forgive us for discussing our problems.

I don't think Ana Draga
died of natural causes.

- Just village rumors.
- Why do you know best?

I just know.

God spare you
from all the gossip around!

- Someone's called the Party.
- What for?

To say you're measuring the land
and all that.

I told them I can't stop you.

That's no crime,
but people know you spoke to Craciun.

Our reputation's at stake.

He'd be the first to rejoice
if the cooperative failed.

Ours isn't an easy life.

Regardless of circumstances,
I must implement the plan.

No matter how.

Major, I want to retire in peace.

The people say measuring the land
was just a game.

What shall I tell them?

I would have told you,
but for your silence.

I'd like to know who ordered it.

I'd like to find out myself.

The link between her death
and the land eludes me.

Who's stealing from whom?

The State can't steal from itself!

It seems to me Urdareanu is a nice guy.

That goes for his wife, too.

For instance,
you could steal a load of corn.

A person can steal from a cooperative.

Right.

This case is more complicated
than it seems.

- Let's recap...
- Please do.

Firstly, they didn't like her
measuring the land.

- Secondly...
- That goes for us too.

Thirdly.

Moraru, the teacher,
lured us to the hill, twice.

Although I'm sure it happened elsewhere.

- Then, Urdareanu's invitation.
- I think he called the Party.

- Really?
- He was too apologetic.

- Somehow...
- Yes?

- I think he's involved.
- Sir!

Panaitescu, prepare yourself for...

something rather unpleasant.

Ana Draga's exhumation.

In this case

both theft and murder
are private matters!

I'll tell you everything I know.

I'm used to speaking only the truth.

Nothing but the truth. I wrote...

I put down my thoughts on paper...

and I'm going to read this to you.

- Here, under the light.
- It's a statement.

I, Eronim Pantelie, retiree,

was chairman of the Land Commission.

- Leave that for now.
- Tell me what's not in there.

You know,
it will be hard with those people.

- Why?
- They were hard with me too.

They were difficult with me

because when the land
was assigned to the peasants

they asked me
to be the Commission chairman.

I accepted,
but only until the land was assigned.

- Did you know her?
- The girl? Yes.

She came to me with Pricopie.

- Pricopie?
- Sorry, I mean Pricope...

They both asked me for my blessing.

I did it, even though
it was outside my powers.

I wasn't allowed to do that.

Then she came on another occasion.

- She did?
- Yes.

Guess who with? Craciun!

- Craciun?
- That's when I told him...

what we were doing wasn't right.

It wasn't right.

But he wanted to be like other people.

He wanted a real life.

- Did she want to marry him?
- Yes...

She was very fond of him.
He had influence over her.

Major, you should know

Craciun is a touch crazy.

Even though the way he greets people

makes you believe he isn't actually mad.

- So he's not that crazy?
- No, sir.

Comrade, please forgive me...

It's about my license.
I'll fix it up one of these days.

Well now, that's different.

Panaitescu, hold it.

I was waiting for you.

- I've nothing else to say.
- What's "nothing else"?

- I didn't kill her.
- Never deny facts!

I know why you took that leave.

To get engaged.

Why don't you leave me alone?

Ameriei's after me.
Jealous, since she chose me.

Why did she choose you?

Going on her behaviour that night

I don't think it was for love.

- What for then?
- Other reasons.

- Why did you hit her?
- I didn't!

I wanted to kiss her...
hold her in my arms.

She tried to get away
and I tore her blouse.

Is that all?

- When I left she was alive.
- But sad!

Very sad. She told you a secret
which you didn't keep.

Young man...

someone gave you that car
for revealing her secret.

- And to keep quiet now.
- If you think that...

I don't need it...
want to know her secret?

She discovered there was more land

than what's marked on the map.

I was to swear not to tell.
I didn't, so she left.

Young man, you didn't deserve her.

Sir, remember my advice? Arrest Corbei.

So this was their big secret!

It's no use to us.

The nexus of Corbei,
Ana and the land is too simple.

Why should he kill her?
He wasn't the boss.

Charging him with murder
would be a blunder.

It's unlikely she was murdered

for discovering the rort over the land.

There were lots of other ways
to silence her.

As was done on previous occasions.

Usually, murder is the last resort.

In this case
there were plenty of options.

You know...

In a similar case
I handled some time ago

the killer gave the police
all the evidence

needed to charge him.

Then he just walked out.
Thought he'd baffle us.

- Did you catch him?
- Of course.

- Sir!
- Hello...

Bad news. They called you last night.

They want you back for explanations.

- Why didn't you say so?
- I meant to...

Your cooperative has a lot
of undeclared land.

- You're not surprised?
- Not really.

- Shall I put you through?
- Did you know?

I knew she was measuring the land.

But that's not why she was murdered.

- I know that too.
- I should be angry with you.

A district inspector came
and talked to Urdareanu.

- Urdareanu?
- He's been waiting for you.

- Panaitescu!
- Yes?

Drive to the prosecutor's office.

I want him and the coroner
here in two hours.

Yes, sir.

- Call Urdareanu.
- Pardon?

- Urdareanu!
- Right.

So you found out.

I did find out a few things.

Listen to me and you'll understand.

You should know it was very hard for me.

Especially after Corbei...

Corbei started it.

One night he got drunk
and told other people.

Since then...

What can I do?

People have a hold over me.
They won't listen.

When did you find out

the cooperative
had understated its land?

When I was elected chairman.

That's when Corbei told me.

At first I was angry but in the end...

Why not tell your superiors?

I saw the authorities
about another matter.

But then I told the Party Secretary.

We were going through tough times.

People didn't have enough to eat.

If we had reported
all the land we had...

Indeed those were hard times.

Times were really tough.

There were other priorities.

Priorities for building materials.

Timber, bricks, metal sheets...

You sought praise for good results.

Looking at those houses,
I can't really admire them.

Comrade Major, I can assure you

not a single grain or potato
from that damned land

ended up in my pockets or anyone else's.

Not directly...

But it was still dishonest.

I'm certain that dishonesty

contributed to Ana Draga's death.

Who ordered the forgery of the minutes?

No one. There was no need.

The secretary
is part of the leadership...

She knows what to do.

What do you mean?

She knows who can be told and who can't.

Our district official knew...

He advised us to leave things alone...

A drought could have made things
even worse.

How did Ana find out you had extra land?

- Someone told her.
- Who?

At first I suspected Corbei.

But then, I realised it couldn't be him.

He was on the Council too.

One thing still bugs me.
Why measure it at night?

So we wouldn't know.

When we took her back at the cooperative

we told her not to measure the land.

What about the fertilizers?

We received them but we didn't use them.

We implemented our plan
thanks to the extra land.

Then the fertilizers went off

and Corbei suggested
putting Ana in charge of them.

I agreed...
but only to keep tabs on her.

How could you make her pay,
knowing they were off?

We didn't get to that
because of what happened.

But why did you suggest it?

They were her responsibility.

You knew they were off.

Corbei suggested it was a way
of having a hold on her.

I guess the marriage idea was yours too.

It was Pricope's
but I went along with it.

- What did he tell you?
- He told me that Ana Draga...

had found out about the extra land.

What did you tell him?

I changed the subject.

We said we'd adopt him
but his mother said no.

Do you think Pricope
told Saveta about the land?

No, after the engagement
he came straight to me.

Who else did you speak to?

That night to Emilia,
the next day to Corbei.

Which of the villagers
could talk to Saveta?

To Saveta? Iustina!

- Iustina who?
- Iustina Craciun.

What are you doing?

I thought we could have a drink.

What's the link
between Iustina and Saveta?

After Turdean was killed
and Craciun was jailed,

they moved in together.

Drink it to me!

- To your health.
- Cheers.

Drink the other one too. Drink mine too.

- Drink mine too.
- Please, Major.

Drink it.

- Do you have an ulcer?
- No, but I don't drink.

Cheers.

Comrade Urdareanu, listen to me.

This is not within my competence

but you should have told me
from the beginning.

Major, what do I do now?

Publicly admit what you just told me.

The people will judge you.

I have a feeling
the deaf woman was just a decoy.

Why didn't she come earlier?

Panaitescu, everything in due time.

There she is.

I think she got away, sir.

One more reason to call her in.

Mihai, get away from there.

Sergeant, move to the left.

A bit more... that's it.

Mihai, please sit down.
Beside the sergeant.

Major, please stand between them.

Like that... that's fine.
Bend a little more.

All right. Thank you.

Rolling!

You'll be the interpreter.

What we discuss here is confidential.

- Understand?
- Yes.

At the re-enactment
one thing escaped me.

I'd like to clarify it.

Ask whether Corbei pushed Ana,

or whether Ana fell, frightened by him.

She didn't see.

Tell your mother
her evidence could lead to an arrest.

- She understands that.
- Good.

Let her tell us what she saw.

She saw her undress...

All right. When she saw the girl,

was she at the top
or at the foot of the hill?

- At the top.
- Top.

Good. Was she totally naked?

- Major.
- Don't be embarrassed.

Some of the questions
may be a bit delicate.

But I have no choice.

Please ask her...

whether she was totally naked.

- She had her panties on.
- I see.

Does she remember the time?

Lunch time.
She went to the spring for water.

She had a drink and went back to work.

Later she returned to wash her hands

and she saw Corbei on the hill.

The girl was no longer there.

Why didn't she come to us?

My mother... had reasons for not coming.

There was a death involved!

It was only after you got here

that the village started claiming...

that I was guilty of her death.

She talked to Iustina and telegraphed me

that my mother was dying. So I came.

I already know that.

Just one more thing.

Ask her if...

Iustina Craciun made any suggestions...

or whether she said anything unusual.

She suggested sending the cable.

Are you sure that's all?

Assure her I understand about the cable.

Tell her I thank her.

Ask her why she was following us.

It wasn't my mother.

Wasn't it?

Since you came unexpectedly
and I don't feel guilty,

I don't feel obliged in any way.

I won't set the table for you.

I know you don't like me very much.

You even asked if it was me
who set fire to Craciun's wife.

How could you figure that?

The straw burning between her legs...

That can't be. Can it?

You reported that
we were measuring the land.

Who told you it was me? Urdareanu?

He thinks I want to take his place.

Did he tell you about the land?

The law is on his side... but who cares?

He never loved the people
as he should...

Otherwise, why let them get lazy?

Why overvalue their work?
Only for himself...

To be seen as the best chairman.

They'd resist change.

See why I called the authorities?

Why did you approach Ana?

Who told you I did?

Hold on. I ask the questions!

Major, what if I don't want to answer?

I'll call the Prosecutor's Office.

You could be charged
with something very serious.

Major... would you like to see a...

Leave me out of this.

When Pricope left...

You reminded him you're his father,

then you weren't ashamed
to go to his wife-to-be.

Comrade Major...

You may think so. But I don't!

She wanted to get engaged to Pricope.

Not because she loved him

but only to find out the truth.

And now I ask you,

didn't she go to Amariei
for the same reason?

You... what do you want?

Repeat what you said about Amariei.

There's nothing to repeat.

No... I don't feel guilty of anything.

But mark my words.
She did it for the same reason.

I can say that.

Woman! Go and mind your own business.

Still, that's not the whole story.

Give me a cigarette.

Major, you're asking me about...

that girl.
I can't even mention her name.

- You've lost a fingernail?
- Everyone's lost something!

Tell me, when you were peeping at her...

did the girl see you?

It's not peeping if she doesn't know.

Here... further up.
The blow knocked her out.

The photo shows it. Below the skull.

The blow was in this area.

When she was hit

she was either bending or standing.

Being unconscious,
anyone could have pushed her.

Here... the sub-cervical area.

Any higher, it would be a fracture.

The bruise indicates a blunt object.

- The blow was inflicted...
- By someone experienced.

Who knew...

- Not a deadly blow...
- Just to knock her out.

Another photo...

You see, on the girl's back...

there are scratches.

- Maybe from branches.
- But there are three!

Isn't it strange they're parallel?

A coincidence. It can only be...

scratches from branches in the river.

But why three?

- Very strange!
- Yes, only three.

That's the girl. Pretty isn't she?

Indeed, very attractive.

- Can you listen to me...
- Yes.

Prosecutor... Doctor...

I was very impressed when I saw...
here...

in the photo you took...

I saw under her right eye...

- May I?
- Yes.

A little spot.

A dark blue spot. Just like... a tear.

Which made me believe...

the girl died crying. Am I right Major?

Ion Corbei, aged 51, brigade leader.

Place your hand on the table.

Do it! How did that happen?

What do you mean?

What did you do to Ana Draga?

You can't make me admit
to something I didn't do.

I didn't kill her. I swear by my mother.

Corbei, I'm only asking
what you did to her.

She wanted it too.
She put her arms around me.

She said she'd do it
if I told her about the land.

I told her and after...

- You raped her!
- I didn't.

You couldn't know that during all that

someone was watching.

She didn't even scream
as if she was scared.

She only stared at me.

And then ran towards the river.

What?

- Didn't she run uphill?
- No.

I caught up with her
and tried to grab her.

But all I grabbed were her panties.

The elastic broke
and I was left with it.

She fell.

She fell, facing me.
I knew I shouldn't...

But I'm a man. I couldn't help it.

- Amariei!
- Yes, sir?

Get Apostol Moraru here.

Yes, sir.

Amariei! Get Iustina Craciun too, but...

- Don't scare her.
- Yes, sir.

Do you think Iustina

had any reason to get rid of Ana Draga?

Comrade Major,
your question perplexes me.

Take this letter. It's yours.

Next time sign it!

It wasn't too hard
to work out who wrote it.

You got us to the hill, twice.

I assumed you wanted to help.

This made me realise
you hadn't seen anything.

You were told about it!

Other evidence proves
that you were both told.

The incident happened somewhere else

where it was hard to push anyone
into the water.

The bank was flat and the water shallow.

I asked you about Iustina Craciun...

I asked you about her because...

the witness who told you about it
was Saveta Turdean.

Only Iustina could have suggested

things she couldn't have seen or heard.

Whoever told you,
could only see the top of the hill.

That's why he changed the location.

He couldn't hear either...

that the girl and Corbei
were talking about the land.

Unless... he was very close to them.

Did you know that?

Comrade Prosecutor...

It wasn't hard for someone else
to assume

that Corbei would approach the girl.

Isn't that so, sir?

And this other person also thought

he'd wait on the hill till sunset.

Who could it be?

Major...

Iustina wasn't at home
or in the village.

Did you try her father?

Was it Craciun who talked to you?

- He did visit me.
- Amariei, hurry!

Iustina is in danger.

Craciun, stop pretending!

- You were waiting for me.
- Prosecutor...

Now it doesn't matter any more.

He cooked some mushrooms. Now he's dead!

Doctor, please come in.

I couldn't even light a candle for him.

When Ana told me he'd hit her,

I told him to leave her alone.
He didn't listen.

- Did he say he hit her?
- Yes.

And I told him
no one else would have hit her.

He laughed at me.

He laughed and said
Corbei would be in trouble.

He'd pay for everything
he'd done to us.

- Is he dead?
- Yes.

You can do whatever you like to me.

I kept begging my father...

not to hurt Ana.

- Did you?
- Yes, but...

He was so bent
on taking revenge on Corbei

he would have sold me too, if he could.

For everything Corbei did to us...

Know what I think?

I think you should film
some beautiful landscapes.

Maybe the sun, or a fountain.
You'll need it.

Listen to me. You'll need it for sure.

Any good bits in what you filmed?

I won't edit anything out.
It'll stay as it is.

Major, the water was deep.

Even if the water was deep

there was a pathway under the ridge.

Anyone using that pathway
would have been out of sight.

Comrade Prosecutor...

- A snapshot.
- Closer!

After all, dishonesty led to the crime.

A sword, or a broken sword,
makes no difference.

- Can you see the hill?
- Of course.

It wasn't only Ana Draga who died

but something in peoples' souls too.

This film is based
on actual events

which occurred in 1970.

{\an8}Subtitles: Beatrice Valter
Kate Johnson{\an8}

Subtitles © SBS Australia 1996