Occident is a bittersweet comedy that focuses on the growing tendency of Eastern European youth to migrate west. When the amicable Luci (Alexandru Papadopol) and his beautiful lover Sorina ... See full summary »
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
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 an unwanted male abortionist, Bebe (Vlad Ivanov). The bleakness of the storyline expresses a dark socio-political critique in the twilight years of a repressive dictatorship.Written by
I have read many reviews about this particular movie but I had the chance to watch it only yesterday. Since I am a citizen of a neighboring ex-communist country - Bulgaria - I am well familiar with the essence of the communist regimes at the end of their existence. The were not so cruel like in the 50-s and the 60-s, it was more a farce than a real, normal life and society. Everybody, except the old "loyal" and thickheaded communists, had lost their faith in the "bright future" long ago, but also everybody pretended to be loyal to the party-state for pure selfish reasons. It is shown very well in the movie where, in this "the best of all possible societies", the ordinary people make their shopping mainly at the black market, where they have to do a simple medical procedure illegally, and at the cost of fear and humiliation. This atmosphere becomes grimmer with the dirty streets and the old jalopies, with the rude receptionists and the corrupt people all over the city, with the stupid indifference of the boy's parents and their friends - the so called "elite" in this eliteless society.
I am sure the movie will not be properly understood by the citizens of the free countries who had only heard about communism but had never experienced it. Nevertheless it is worth seeing and I am very glad that such films, together with "The Lives of Others" (Das Leben Der Anderen), have won prestige international awards.
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