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Ovidiu, 35, a literature teacher in a Bucharest school, dreams of becoming a famous writer.
He falls madly in love with Diana, a model, who extols the virtues of a brand of toothpaste in an advertisement.
To please her, and to satisfy all her whims, he pretends he’s a young millionaire and spends the equivalent of several months of his meager teacher’s wages in one weekend.
He can only afford such extravagance because of Pepe, a rather strange “godfather”. Mister Pepe, 60, a sreenwriter/songsmith for beggars, has set up a foundation called Philanthropique that he uses as a cover for his scams. Intrigued by the vast possibilities of charity, he invents a high class, extremely lucrative sting involving Ovidiu.
This double life rapidly becomes risky and difficult for Ovidiu to manage. Just how far will Pepe drag him down?
In the game of appearances, he risks losing his soul. He’s but a puppet in Pepe’s game, which is a scam on a national scale.
"Philanthropique" won the Audience Prize at the 2002 Paris Film Festival.