Collective

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An unflinching look at the investigative journalists of the Romanian newspaper Gazeta SporturilorCollective is a necessary examination of the corruption that can spread unchecked without a robust press to hold it accountable. It is fitting that Collective is Romania’s submission to the Academy Awards this year. The documentary is more than deserving of the award. Collective takes place following the horrifying fatal 2015 fire at the Collectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania. The fire killed 27 people. Widespread government health care fraud, corruption, and greed on all levels would kill 37 more. The film shows footage of the initial fire itself, caused by a pyrotechnic effect that set alight soundproofing foam, and the chaos that ensued. It is a starkly terrible event, which only makes it more horrific that the aftermath saw more preventable death. When the fire was put out, the horror continued for the victims and their families. The focus of the documentary is journalists Cătălin Tolontan, Mirela Neag, and Răzvan Luţac, who head up the team that blows the lid off the entire scandal. It is their reporting that shakes the country to its core. CHASE HUTCHINSON


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