My camera is a Sony. His is a Philips. His zoom can only reach the salami in the next window. My camera has the best lens in the world. If I hold it like this, I can see right up to the sky. Wait… cassette change.
The man who says this, one hand sticking out through the metal bars of his prison cell, is Gavril Hrib. The camera that he mentions is, in fact, a mirror which helps him see what is happening outside – an outside that, at the time of the shooting, the man has not seen for some 21 years. Hrib was Andrei Schwartz’s protagonist in his previous film Jailbirds, about Rahova, a high-security prison in Bucharest. When Hrib is about to be released, some ten years from that first film and after a total of 21 years spent in prison, he calls Schwartz. Time is often a crucial ingredient in documentary, which contributes essentially to the texture of the lives and relationships documented by the camera, including the one between the filmmakers and their protagonists. Romanian cinema hardly has any other longitudinal documentary project comparable with the time scale of Andrei Schwartz’s Outside – a film about a man who tries to find a place for himself in an estranged world while dealing with the memory of his crime, and about the filmmaker who spends years trying to understand him.
AWARDS AND FESTIVALS
2014 - DOK Leipzig, Germany