Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Rated: No Rating
Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad
Ivanov, Luminita Gheorghiu,
Released by: IFC Films
Short: This intense,
emotional film from Romania is a searing glimpse
into the dark days of the late 1980s when that
country suffered terribly under the repression
of Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist regime.
Times, Desperate Measures
One Very Bad Day
by Jenny Peters
a reason that Romanian writer-director Cristian Mungiu
received the Cannes Film Festival’s
prestigious top honor, the Palme d’Or, as well
as numerous other esteemed awards for his quietly heart-wrenching
film, “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.” It
is because his movie succeeds on so many levels, from
an intensely private, personal story to a much larger
look at the culture of repression that existed in Romanian
society under the Communist reign.
the film begins, college student Gabriela (the pale,
dark-haired beauty Laura Vasiliu) has a problem.
She’s pregnant (which is what
the numbers in the title reference), and has enlisted
her roommate Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) to help her
to procure an abortion. Problem is, abortions are
illegal, so the two have to go through the black
market in order to find someone willing to do it
immediately, and on the q.t.
the day progresses, the women find themselves in
a series of disturbing situations as they struggle
to get Gabriela’s problem taken care of, a
problem that has gone on way too far as it is. Set
against a bleak cityscape of poverty and need, the
desperate story reflects the desperate reality that
engulfed every Romanian’s life for decades
the story is Otilia, whose decision to help Gabriela reverberates tragically
through her life, shaking up her romantic relationship and messing with her emotional
stability as well. Anamaria Marinca’s performance is so well-acted, and
the English-subtitled film so relentlessly real, that it is hard to believe that
this isn’t actually a documentary.
Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” is everything a movie should be—illuminating,
emotionally affecting and thought provoking. In fact, this film will
stay on your mind long after the screen goes black (especially if you are a woman),
and it is a triumph for its creator.