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Author: Scout Tafoya

Cheerfully Depressed: Radu Jude’s “Scarred Hearts”

In 1937, a jaundiced poet and academic named Emanuel (Lucian Teodor Rus), modeled after Max Blecher, is admitted to a sanatorium overlooking a stretch of the Black Sea. He’s sick, but he only suspects how ravaged his body has become. Doctors put him in a chest cast, drain pus from his body, his bones are ready to give out, and pain greets a goodly sum of his actions. Blecher’s words, written white on black screens, break up the images of medical torment and social revelry, as he unknowingly winds down his life. The headlong march into sickness might have...

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