Along with its more obvious qualities, Aferim! is a portrait of people starved for conversation. The cascade of chatter begins with a constable named Costandin (Teodor Corban), who is riding along through the Wallachian countryside in the mid-1830s in the company of his teenage son Ionita (Mihai Comanoiu). Costandin is a veritable fountain of bullshit, his torrent of dialogue peppered with folklore, aphorisms, riddles, poetry, and biblical quotations. The greenhorn Ionita occasionally gets a question in, but generally absorbs/endures his father’s jovial monologues during their journey on horseback through a mostly sunlit but somehow haunted landscape. The two are searching for an escaped Roma slave at the behest of a cruel nobleman.