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Romania, 1987, the brutal Ceausescu communist regime is in place; birth control is illegal and abortion is a crime punishable by death. Gabita (Laura Vasliu) is almost five months into an unwanted pregnancy and in meek desperation turns to her friend and roommate, Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) for help in organizing an illegal termination. Unfortunate circumstances force the two women to use a male abortionist, Bebe (Vlad Ivanor), who, in addition to an absurd amount of money, also demands sex with both women as payment. The bleakness of the storyline expresses a dark socio-political critique in the twilight years of a repressive dictatorship. Written by
Another powerful film from Romania, FOUR MONTHS, THREE WEEKS, TWO DAYS, from Cristian Mungiu with tremendous performances from Ana Maria Marinca as Otilia and the lovely Laura Vasiliu, playing 'Gabita', in a story of abortion and the effect on family and friendship. As in 1208:EAST OF BUCHAREST, the ability to look into Romania and visit with characters that depict the time of Romania in 1987 who deal with oppression in so many ways in their lives, is a film you will not ever forget. No wonder this jewel of a film won Cannes' Palme D'Or 2007.
The film belongs to Ana Maria Marinca as her character Otilia commands the screen in scenes which drive the story forward and enforce the horror of not only abortion, but much more. The camera work is really superb in external night shots that follow Otilia on her journey of horror. And the last scene is one to remember. I hope that this film will be honored in more festivals and that its theatrical release in the USA will bring many kudos to this excellent story and film.
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