Irene Lusztig

USA, 2001, 90 min

Reconstruction is an unsensational approach to a sensational story about the so-called Ioanid Gang bank heist of 1959. It was a rather unusual hold-up in which all the perpetrators were Jewish intellectuals who occupied positions of authority within the Romanian state apparatus when they committed the robbery. The only woman involved, also a Jew, was married to one of the ‘robbers’ and later became Irene Lusztig’s grandmother. All the men were sentenced to death. The woman’s sentence was commuted to life imprisonment as she was a mother. Before the sentences were carried out, the convicts were forced to play themselves in a strongly fictionalized account of the events commissioned by the Romanian Ministry for Internal Affairs.

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