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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Directed by Cristian Mungiu

Romania, 2007

HOME, 22 March 2017

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

It is grim in the East.

There are all these concrete blocks, a burgeoning Brutalism gone feral, there is darkness and rain. That’s outside. Inside you see pokey rooms with fire-hazard furnishings, leading out to cramped corridors.

So we are thrown into this world alongside a pregnant student and her friend, a friend who tries to help her get an abortion. The people they turn to are as awful as the buildings outside: there are the surly and indifferent sort who feel at home under fascism and communism both; the gross and obnoxious party elites; a weak insipid boyfriend; a doctor who won’t accept money for an abortion, oh no, he would just like to be paid in kind. You find the best people working in the black market.

A few scenes stay with you, like that insistent, demonic haggling in the hotel room.  Or the time when the girl’s friend goes out to dispose of the foetus, stepping into a world of darkness and fear. Later that evening, in a restaurant, there is meat and marrow on the menu.

A bleak and beautiful film.