Story opens with the senator (Dorel Visan) arriving in a small town in the Romanian countryside to open a hydro project.
He spends much of his time trying to make sure a Swiss TV crew presents a positive image of his country. On a whim, the middle-aged politician announces that he would like to eat snails the following night, and local officials press the town’s entire population into service. Sure enough, the next day the picturesque rolling hills are dotted with villagers desperately seeking snails for the senator’s dinner.
The quest for snails is turning ugly as tensions erupt among the Romanians and their gypsy neighbors.
Soon the town has a full-blown riot and, once again, the senator tries to make sure the journalists don’t hear about these social problems.
Daneliuc’s script contains an uneasy mix of broad slapstick humor and oblique political commentary, but it fails to deliver the requisite laughs or political insights. The allegory about post-Communist society isn’t even articulated fully: Essential point seems to be that social change moves at the speed of a sluggish snail and that the new political leaders aren’t all that different from the old Party bosses. Visan is suitably obnoxious as the lead character. The rest of the cast doesn’t really make much of an impression.
Shots of Romania are pleasant to look at and other tech credits are fine, if undistinguished.