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Romanian Director Mungiu Explores Xenophobia In Cannes Entry 'R.M.N'

PARIS, France - Romanian director Cristian Mungiu has returned to the Cannes Film Festival competition with a downbeat social drama confronting xenophobia in central Europe.

Set in a multi - ethnic village in Transylvania, 'R.M.N.' begins with factory workers Matthias returning from Germany to his impoverished village. The close - knit village's calm veneer is shaken when residents, among them ethnic Hungarians, oppose the hiring of Sri Lankan workers in a local bread factory.

'(Transylvania) stands a lot for what Europe and the world is today in the time of globalisation, which is a territory where a lot of people came earlier, or later, and there is something to dispute - how are we going to co - exist here?' Mungiu told a press conference in Cannes on Monday.

The factory manager is Matthia's ex - lover Csilla, a Hungarian who protects the workers from violent acts of intimidation and tries in vain to prevent their expulsion.

Mungiu, who won the Paleme d'Or for '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days', said his latest film's themes of xenophobia and distrust of globalisation were universal.

He said he has experienced being stereotyped as a Roma, an ethnic minority from Romania, stigmatized in many European countries. Mungiu has said he does not identify as Roma.

'You can't change the way people (simplify) reality and (use) stereotypes about the other', he said.

The title 'R.M.N.' stands for the Romanian acronym for magnetic resonance imaging, a brain examination procedure that Matthias's sick father underwent.



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