Welcome to Palilula

We invite you to discover the special world created by the important Romanian theatre director Silviu Purcărete, to enter a small phantom city, lost in the middle of Wallachian field, „a small community of fools, laggards, sluts, tramps with angel hearts are living under the sun in a sweet innocent unconsciousness” (

Somewhere in Palilula by Silviu Purcărete - CINEPUB

Director: Silviu Purcărete
Scriptwriter: Silviu Purcărete
Cast: Áron Dimény, George Mihaiţă, Constantin Chiriac, Răzvan Vasilescu, Sorin Leoveanu, Ofelia Popii, Horaţiu Mălăele, Marius Manole
Produced by: Tudor Giurgiu (producător), Oana Giurgiu (producător), Gabi Antal, Giuliano Doman, Lucian Georgescu, Lucian Pintilie, Cristinel Sirli (coproducători)
Cinematography by: Adrian Silișteanu
Film editing by: Cătălin Cristuțiu
Year: 2012
Category: feature film
Genre: comedy, drama
Duration: 145 minutes
Subtitles: English
Territories:  –

153,392 – Cinepub viewers


Somewhere in Palilula tells the story of Serafim, a young doctor assigned on short-term at the hospital in Palilula, a little town lost somewhere on the map of the country, following the death of the previous pediatrician, Pantelică. Serafim gradually adapts to this world of drunkenness, feasting and orgy and ends upfeeling like he belongs there.

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“About immorality and melancholia. Palilula is nowhere, that is, it is everywhere. It is a small island in the Southern Plain, made of the dust of a distant planet. There, the laws of terrestrial physics are not quite as rigorous. There, it is not very clear whether people lie, dream or really live. Just as in the „Exterminator Angel”, Palilula is „programmed to receive”, but you can never leave it. There, the exterminator angel is called immorality and melancholia.” (Silviu Purcărete,

If there is a key to this Romanian film, the first feature fiction of the great theatre director Silviu Purcărete, it was offered by himself, in this very text presenting the director’s vision. With this film, Silviu Purcărete seems to have intended to describe, with all the means at hand (both cinematographic and dramatic) the geography of an impossible place, where, paradoxically, everything is possible. There are few Romanian films where the author assumes the absence of a story in favour of the metaphorical message to such an extent. Palilula is the imaginary par excellence, the space of total freedom. All phantasms, all failures, all sins and all guilt are tolerated here, which does not turn Palilula into a place of forgiveness or redemption, but rather into a purgatory which can never be left.

The existence of Purcărete’s eerie place is, however, grounded: it is a place where children are no longer born, where creation has been inhibited. Therefore, Palilula lives out of and for itself, from its own poison recycled over and over. In this key, Serafim, the paediatrician, gets to Palilula with the unknown mission of a saviour. Letting himself caught into the temptations of the place, Serafim is on the edge of failing his mission before Capra, the ugly prostitute of the village, gets pregnant.

With a cast equalling the director’s value, Purcarete’s film is one of the most challenging pieces in the collection of Romanian films online on Cinepub.


“Welcome to Palilula, doc.”
“I think I was irradiated.
Don’t worry. The x-ray machine, hasn’t worked in years. The lights come on just for show.”
“I’m a paediatrician. What am I doing here?”
“As the late Pantelică used to say: medicine is the only state-subsidized fraud.”
“Our Capra is pregnant. We’re finished.”


  • Transilvania International Film Festival – Romania, 2012
  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival – Czech Republic, 2012


Nominations :

  • Golden Spike – Best Film (Silviu Purcărete), Valladolid International Film Festival – Spain, 2012
    Best Feature Film (feature) (Tudor Giurgiu, Silviu Purcărete), Best Directing (Silviu Purcărete), Best First Feature Film (fiction feature) (Silviu Purcărete), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Sorin Leoveanu), Gopo Awards – Romania, 2013


  • Best Art Direction (Dragoș Buhagiar, Helmut Stürmer), Best Cinematography (feature) (Adrian Silișteanu), Best Editing (feature) (Cătălin Cristuțiu), Best Music (feature) (Vasile Sirli), Best Costume Design (fiction feature) (Lia Manțoc), Best Hair and Make-up (Dana Roșeanu, Ionel Popa, Doina Popa, Minela Popa), Gopo Awards – Romania, 2013