A small city in Northern Romania. Despite growing debts and an entangled personal life, Florin Iespas – a police detective – is determined to solve a hard case no one seems to care about. Ordered to put down the file, the cop continues his off-the-record investigations, soon turning up a strong lead for two hotel fires that resulted in several deaths. The suspect is Bănel, a security guard of Roma descent, but he denies everything. Faced with the refusal of the Police Chief to support his inquiry, the mistrust of his colleagues, and his own inner demons, the cop is forced to come up with a convoluted plan and take extraordinary measures in order to bring it to its inevitable conclusion.
“At first sight, Unidentified is a genre film, combining and subverting several successful popular cinema archetypes: the policier/detective movie, the action film, the anti-hero character type, film noir. At the same time, all these purely filmic elements work by supporting and complementing a very strong, original central story set in a unique and specific place: the world of the small town in Romania. The synergy which results from the combination of these different approaches makes this particular story a calculated challenge. It is a film which flows like a thriller but gets the audience deeply involved not with cliché, cardboard-cut characters but with authentic, genuine people, places and relationships, free from any easy genre conventions and cinematic tropes.
In tandem with the intense – sometimes frantic – plot line, this movie gradually reveals itself as an introspective film which looks inwardly rather than outwardly. It is, ultimately, a story about the interior landscape of the human mind and soul, a film about life-defining choices which spring from hidden desires and internal conflicts, pride, ego, unseen secrets, vices, unfulfilled dreams and inner demons. The film speaks about the private balance within each of us, a balance far less stable than we all imagine to be and which sometimes needs the smallest of triggers to unleash an internal implosion with devastating external consequences.
The spiritual voyage of the central character underlines a world in which the moral and ethical codes have been replaced by simple laws designed to ensure the survival of the individual at the expense of the larger society.” [Bogdan George Apetri]