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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

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Romania | 113 min. | DVD | Dir. Cristian Mungiu

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.

"Cristian Mungiu's film is a nightmare of social-realist suspense, a jewel of what it is now considered the Romanian new wave, along with Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr Lazarescu and Corneliu Porumboiu's 12:08 East of Bucharest. In more general terms, it is part of that emerging 21st-century phenomenon, ordeal cinema: a cinema that with great formal technique makes you live through a horrendous experience in what seems like real time. As a drama, it is superbly observed and telling in every subtle detail; yet it is also simply as exciting, in its stomach-turning way, as any thriller." -Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian) 

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