Collective

**** When Bucharest nightclub Colectiv burned in 2015, 27 people died—and that was just the beginning. In the following weeks, 37 injured survivors of the fire perished, a loss that led to the exposure of a sweeping conspiracy that had corrupted the Romanian health care system. That scandal is the subject of Collective, a mesmerizing and enraging documentary directed by Alexander Nanau. The film focuses on Catalin Tolontan, a journalist at a sports newspaper who reported on the use of heavily diluted disinfectants in Romanian hospitals, and former Minister of Health Vlad Voiculescu, whom we watch soberly struggle to reform the institution he serves from within. Devoid of didactic narration and expert interviews, Collective trusts that images of horrendous injustices (like a neglected patient's maggot-covered face) will speak for themselves. The greed, lies and apathy revealed are almost too much to bear, but there's no turning away from a film this morally urgent, thoroughly researched and beautifully paced. When Tolontan declares, "All I'm trying is to give people more knowledge about the powers that shape our lives," it's as if he's speaking for the filmmakers. Collective is the embodiment of his words—a masterpiece that is both cinematic and journalistic. NR. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. On Demand.