Heads and Tails, an intense physical drama in which fragments from the past gradually shape a fateful day, was inspired by a real-life incident. A youth was hit in the head after playing the same song 10 times in a club and died later of his injuries. “It’s not a reconstruction of the case, but fiction, our explanation of the puzzle of why somebody would play the same song 10 times in a row. Initially the screenplay was 26 pages and we thought it was going to be a short. But in the end we shot a feature, although for the budget of a short,” said director Nicolae Constantin Tănase, who was accompanied to Prague by a number of his collaborators on the project.
It took longer to book the famous local singer of the popular Romanian singing style known as manele, who appears at the end, than to actually shoot the film. “Without him, people would think that it was criticism. By the end you understand how annoying the song is. But we also wanted to use real news reports over the closing credits to show that the death of a 33-year-old man in Romania is something that can be regarded as deserved,” Tănase said.
The film was screened in the Centropa section at Febiofest because of the minority involvement of a Czech producer. “We met the makers in 2016 at the Karlovy Vary festival, where the project was presented as part of Works in Progress. I was fascinated by his singular vision to squeeze something that complex into an obsessively intimate story,” said producer Marek Novák.