Romania, during the final days of Communism. Otilia and Gabita are students; they share a room in a hall of residence in Bucharest. Gabita is pregnant. The girls arrange to meet a certain Mr. Bebe in a cheap hotel. He will perform Gabita’s illegal abortion. But Mr. Bebe refuses their money and demands to be paid in kind. –Cannes FIlm Festival
Cristian Mungiu (b. 1968, Iaşi) is a Romanian filmmaker, winner of the Palme d’Or in 2007.
After studying English literature at the University of Iaşi, he worked for a few years as a teacher and as a journalist. After that, he enrolled at the University of Film in Bucharest to study film directing. After graduating in 1998, Mungiu made several short films. In 2002, he debuted with his first feature film, Occident. Occident enjoyed critical success, winning prizes in several film festivals and being featured in Director’s Fortnight at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2007 Mungiu wrote and directed his second feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The film was received enthusiastically, attracting critical praise and being selected in the official competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, where it eventually won the coveted Palme d’Or for feature film, marking the first time that prize was awarded to a Romanian filmmaker.
Mungiu has said that early Miloš Forman… read more
The subject matter of this film could have easily called for an emotional deluge of hyped up drama, with overwrought and unrealistic characters. I'm glad it wasn't. It was a calm considered piece of film-making with outstanding performances from all. Mungiu has created something that feels real but also thrilling in a way reminiscent of Haneke.
Although the subject matter is anything but light-hearted, the formal elements of the film are what prove to be the most challenging. We (and the characters) are trapped inside claustrophobic frames for seemingly endless amounts of time, bombarded with disturbances from the hors-champ, and forced to endure the paroxysms and uncertainty of a mobile hand-held camera. A difficult film but one which deserves much praise.
Cristian Mungiu’s film is a gorgeously austere and often exhilarating in its its slow-burning atmosphere of dread and sorrow.
"Less is more in the sophomore feature by Cannes Camera d'or winner Corneliu Porumboiu (12:08 East of Bucharest), a filmmaker attentive
Each of the Notebook's writers were given the opportunity to submit their ten favorite films of 2008 given at least a week's theatrical run
Whether you are pro-choice or pro-life is your own business, but what this film is confronting is neither a justification or a judgement about the topic when it’s true heart is delving into the emotional… read review
I make no secret of my stance when it comes to this subject. I’m extremely against it.
However there’s no doubting it makes for gripping cinema.
Nice characters. In fact I thought all… read review
A haunted and paranoid mood piece scored to the deadening static of silence, interspersed with stifled cries of desperation and candid misery spread out over inert frames. The ambient, stagnant panic… read review