In resurrecting lives that never were, Light Perpetual is a miracle, not only of art, but of encompassing empathy. The novel becomes not only about the terribly brief lives of these five fictional children, but of the finitude that bounds all the living and the dead.
Since the fall of communism, there have been few Eastern European directors who have become as internationally known as Roman Polanksi and Milos Forman. But now from Romania comes Cristi Puiu, whose film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, premiered at Cannes in 2005 and has been winning awards ever since. Now it's out on DVD. Our critic-at-large says the film does something few movies ever do.