Unlike what’s coming out of Hollywood recently, a new Romanian film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, really does deal with abortion. It won the Cannes Palme d’Or last year, and it now starts its run in the United States. The New York Times has an excellent review of the movie today. Here’s an excerpt:
In”4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,”a ferocious, unsentimental, often brilliantly directed film about a young woman who helps a friend secure an abortion, the camera doesn’t follow the action, it expresses consciousness itself. This consciousness : alert to the world and insistently alive : is embodied by a young university student who, one wintry day in the late 1980s, helps her roommate with an abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania when such procedures were illegal, not uncommon and too often fatal. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement.
You may already have heard something about”4 Months,”which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year, only to be shut out from Academy Award consideration a few weeks ago by the philistines who select the foreign-language nominees. The Oscars are absurd, yet they can help a microscopically budgeted foreign-language film find a supportive audience. And”4 Months”deserves to be seen by the largest audience possible, partly because it offers a welcome alternative to the coy, trivializing attitude toward abortion now in vogue in American fiction films, but largely because it marks the emergence of an important new talent in the Romanian writer and director Cristian Mungiu.
Ironically, while seeing Juno a couple of weeks ago, I saw a preview for this film. It looked incredibly powerful and I hope to get to see it on the big screen.
- David S. Cohen