After overhearing an ailing ex-convict talk about a letter he's waiting for that's certain to lead him to a large cache of money, Sebastian (Babluani), a 20-year-old immigrant quietly repairing the man's seaside house, is understandably intrigued. When the man dies of a drug overdose, Sebastian absconds with the letter, following the instructions that guide him to a secretive meeting place. There a group of anonymous men enlist him in a macabre, deadly game of chance.
Why we love it
This nail-biting existential thriller is based on actual incidents involving murder and high-rolling bettors. Filmed in stark, pristine black-and-white, "13 Tzameti" builds tension around Sebastian's roundabout journey to a series of rendezvous points, which ultimately lead him to his shadowy destination. Meanwhile, he's being tailed by a group of undercover cops, for reasons that are equally opaque. Babluani turns this cryptic game of cat and mouse into a running nightmare of cold-blooded tension. If you're in the mood for chilling suspense, place your bet on "13 Tzameti."