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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
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The movie is excellent and there is no need for spoilers however, since people will react accordingly depending on their stance toward abortion, I think it is important to mention that abortion was not illegal on moral grounds. It was a state policy to increase the population which made contraception and family planning education also illegal or at least non-existent.
Ironically, statistics showed that the population did not increase nowhere near close to what was expected.
Whatever the reason, currently Romanian is a hot property. People and critics are just buzzing with excitement about what is going on in Romanian cinema. And even though I'm not Romanian (I'm Hungarian) I'm pretty excited about it too.
In 2006 there was the release of "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu", besides "4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile", also released in 2007 was "12:08 East of Bucharest". These three films seem to be part of a new wave in Romanian film. Each takes on modern day society while questioning the past. All three are confrontational.
"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" takes place during a 24 hour period in which a young girl, Gabita Dragut (Laura Vasiliu) seeks an abortion in Ceausescu's Romania. At the time such acts were against the law. She needs the help of her roommate, Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) to sort out the details and supply some support, since the father of the child is not only never seen but never spoken of either.
The two girls get in contact with Bebe (Vlad Ivanou) through a mutual friend. Bebe is the only person who will perform an abortion after the 4th month, this is how the film gets its title. That is how long Gabita has been pregnant. Bebe though does not seem like a trust worthy kind of guy. He has something up his sleeve. But he will not be the end of their problems.
The film sets itself up as a thriller and believe it or not, it is suspenseful.Read more ›
Almost no one would answer the question on what would happen if abortions WERE outlawed by the State. Would we jail the women? Kill the abortionists? It's out of the question in a civilized nation. Right? Well... not exactly. Communist Romania did outlaw abortion during the 70's and 80's. The reasons were not exactly humanitarian but the end result was that early abortions were punished with a few years in prison and late term abortions, past the 4th month were treated as murders. This is the telling of a (possibly true) story from those years. It's an illustration of what we here, in the States, like to call a `back alley abortion'. The back alley, in this case, is a hotel room, a rather decent one.
The visual environment and the way characters interact are consistent with Romania's impoverished status back in 1987 - there's little color, little hope, few lights at night, little joy. The few extras we see are shown as small, disoriented, defeated people performing absurd or incomprehensible (to us) activities such as wandering aimlessly in the night, lining up in queues or risking whatever was left of their freedom for some meager black market profits. Everyone seems to be indifferent, corruptible, bored, boring, alone, lonely but surprisingly well-mannered, given the circumstances. Had this been a Hollywood production, we might have ended up watching a zombie or a body-snatcher type of a movie but this one was made in East Europe and the Hollywood advisers didn't bother to offer their precious advice so what we see are the memories of a reality not completely dead.
Gabriela (Gabi) is a senior student who shares a dorm room and has a good friend in Otilia.Read more ›
This is a bleak and disturbing film tackling a very emotional subject. Cristian Mungiu has delivered a masterpiece, a film so powerful it will leave scars with the viewer long after watching it. The material is raw, filmed beautifully to capture the raw feelings and emotions of the characters, the ugly and drab feel of a communist country and the ever present authoritarian hand of the state. Some of the scenes are unnerving, especially the hotel scene when Gabita and Otilia are "negotiating" with the man who will perform the abortion. In any society, the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is not one that is positive or cause for happiness. The reality of facing this reality in the society that Mungiu brings to life is even more dispiriting. There are no good choices for Gabita and Otilia and one cannot begin to imagine the mental wounds that they will be left with for the rest of their lives.
The craftmanship of this film is most evident during two parts of the film. The first is when Otilia is visiting her boyfriend Adi's parents apartment to celebrate his mother's birthday. The scenes in the apartment are stunning in how they are shot, especially the bulk of the dining room scene -- shot from one angle, the expressiveness of Otilia, her anguish at having to put up with this family, their celebration and them and their friends sarcastic denigration of her is about as good as movies get.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie deserves the universally outstanding reviews it got when it originally appeared. Unblinkingly unsentimental, and therefore hard to watch in the best possible sense of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Anne Beller
The Romaniann language was totally mingled except for phrases they did not understand, (like "vata")
It is a total disgrace for any woman living in that time, at that... Read more
The year: 1987. The setting: Romania under the fat totalitarian thumb of Nicolae Ceausescu. The dilemma: the invincibly nervous Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), who has accrued an unwanted... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Barry Ramirez
This was the first Romanian film to win the Palme d'Or, and the award was well-deserved. It takes place in 1987, when the Ceaucescu regime was still in power, and abortion (and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Larry Benjamin
A heavy duty movie not for the faint of heart. This movie is based on true events during the Ceausescu era in Romania. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Perry Droast
Awful, boring, depressing with an awful ending that leaves you guessing and wondering.Published on August 13, 2014 by Amy Wilborn
We actually had it harder over here to get abortions for many years and are still struggling to keep it out of the back alleys. Read morePublished on July 18, 2014 by dennah
This movie is a story about a young woman that gave up on life and love. She finally connected to an older woman but never completely offered her full friendship and vulnerability. Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by KayLynn Wessolleck