Back in 2007, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was among the first harbingers of the New Romanian Cinema, and he reaffirms his mastery with this new film pitting individual yearnings versus the monolithic values of an implacable institution.
At its core is a love story between two young women brought up years earlier in a state orphanage: when we first encounter them however, Alina (Cristina Flutur) has returned from work in Germany to visit her beloved Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), whose ardour has cooled somewhat now she’s a nun at an Orthodox monastery up in the hills. Mungiu never takes the easy way out by ridiculing the faith of the local priest and his community, instead building up an insidiously harrowing portrayal of the carnage inflicted by good intentions, closed minds and sheer incomprehension.
Flutur and Stratan deservedly shared Best Actress at Cannes, making a heart-rending contribution to this powerful drama based on an actual exorcism which took place in 2005. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)
This film will also be discussed in The Critical Take, the IFI’s FREE monthly film club, on March 27th (18.30). Want to join the debate? Simply book your FREE seat by contacting the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or emailing email@example.com (given that events can sell out, please note that your emailed booking requests must be confirmed by reply email from the Box Office in order to be considered valid).