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Sunday, March 27, 2011

4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days (aka 4 Luni, 3 Saptamani Si 2 Zile)

Set in 1987 Romania when abortion was still illegal, a student (Anamaria Marinca) assists her college room mate (Laura Vasiliu) in securing an abortion. That simple sentence doesn't begin to describe the deep impact this film has, which won the Golden Palm at the 2007 Cannes film festival. The director Cristian Mungiu strips away almost everything that would be considered cinematic so as to not distract from the powerful simplicity of the story which is played out in a 24 hour time period. Mungiu lets his camera sit while it records extremely long takes with no cutting away and there's no film score. The performances are natural and low key, never calling attention to themselves. It's only after the film is over that you appreciate the subtlety of their work especially Marinca who gives a finely detailed performance. The film makes no overtly political statement on the subject of abortion either pro or con but simply lays out the events (which are pretty dire) which enables us to focus on the situation and ramifications thereof rather than the morality or politics of it. A terrific piece of film making.

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