The Whistlers

La Gomera

Under surveillance by his own force, a corrupt Romanian cop becomes involved in a plot to spring a money-laundering businessman from police custody.

Dir-Scr Corneliu Porumboiu
Prod Patricia Poienaru, Marcela Ursu
With Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon
UK Distribution Curzon
With partial English subtitles (some scenes are not in the English language)

Political satire meets pulp fiction in the latest from Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu. It’s a playful thriller that works as both a critique of state bureaucracy and a briskly commercial film noir. Unfolding in Tarantino-esque chapters that forge their own competing timescales, The Whistlers tells the story of Cristi, a weatherworn cop who’s become part of the Bucharest crime syndicate he’s meant to be investigating. This takes him to the island of La Gomera in the Canaries, where he is schooled in the art of ‘silbo’ whistling – a secret language used by shepherds that sounds like birdsong and hence is perfect for keeping secrets from his eavesdropping colleagues. The result is a slick and engaging mystery, steeped in the classic hardboiled mythology of Hammett and Chandler.

Damon Wise

Festival guests

This member of the filmmaking team is expected to attend the festival:

  • Corneliu Porumboiu, director.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can’t guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

This is a 18+ screening.