4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Writer/director Cristian Mungiu creates a lot of tension with this bleak and despairing film about getting an illegal abortion in communist Romania. Two college girls, Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), must rent a hotel room and contact a sleazy abortionist, then dispose of a fetus, without getting caught by the police. Of course, in Romania at the time, anyone could be the police. The events of the film cover a single day and show how the mood of an event can spill over into everything else that occurs. If you’re willing to deal with the slow, European pace, and the graphic abortion imagery, 4 Months is a rewarding work. The inventive use of handheld camera, sustained shots, sparse dialogue and noir-style suspense mark Mungiu as a director to watch.

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