Lucian Pintilie's first film, Sunday at 6 O'clock (Duminica la ora 6, 1965) , one of the few Romanian modernist auteur films. The story, about a couple of young, anti-Fascist fighters who are persecuted and killed by t...展开he Iron Guard  after being betrayed by one of their own, meets the requirements of socialist realism to a point.
The film's style, however, takes on a life of its own, and the poetic parable about the Angels of Light confronting the Demons of Darkness is transformed into a disturbing psychological thriller, replete with sadistic torture scenes. From a close-up on the perspiring face of the hiding boy, the camera rapidly zooms down the elevator shaft to reveal the girl's body far below in the dungeons, and then cuts to a sun-bleached courtyard where young people are happily chatting, thus escalating the foreboding anticipation to the limit. The recurring audio-visual leitmotifs (the dark stairwell, the sounds of elevator machinery, the overexposed courtyard) trigger a series of flashbacks, introducing bit by bit the poignant story of two people destroyed by the uncanny forces of history. Thus, Pintilie's film yields a transparent existential metaphor for the despondency of young people in his country, trapped in the shaft of Communist dictatorship.