Critics Consensus

Smart, visually arresting, and scathingly funny, Aferim! depicts a world that many American filmgoers have never seen -- but will still, in many respects, find utterly familiar.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,009
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Movie Info

Eastern Europe, 1835. Two riders cross a barren landscape in the middle of Wallachia. They are the gendarme Costandin and his son. Together they are searching for a gypsy slave who has run away from his nobleman master and is suspected of having an affair with the noble's wife. While the unflappable Costandin comments on every situation with a cheery aphorism, his son takes a more contemplative view of the world. On their odyssey they encounter people of different nationalities and beliefs: Turks and Russians, Christians and Jews, Romanians and Hungarians. Each harbors prejudices against the others which have been passed down from generation to generation. And even when the slave Carfin is found, the adventure is far from over...

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Critic Reviews for Aferim!

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (1)

  • The tone is Rabelaisian and earthily comic in the minimalist, picturesque squalor of the settings.

    Jun 7, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • With a title that translates roughly as Attaboy!, this engaging and percipient period comedy focuses on the enslavement of the Roma people in 19th-century Romania.

    May 26, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Somehow director Radu Jude's decision to film in black-and-white only heightens that sense of reality: It's as if the film is some ancient newsreel.

    Mar 28, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Shot in stark black and white, the picture's sense of place and time is strong - pungently so.

    Mar 24, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a tough world out there, and Costandin has found a way to survive in it. It's not always pretty, but in "Aferim!" it's never less than interesting.

    Feb 25, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Shot in black and white with fade-out transitions, the movie harks back to classic westerns. But it's also distinctly modern.

    Feb 11, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Aferim!

  • Nov 28, 2015
    Radu Jude crafts this visually classic Western in black and white with a camera that seems to glide in wide-angle long shots, and uses a comical - and curiously theatrical - approach to show the racism and sexism of a time that doesn't seem so distant from modern Romanian society.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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