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
Foreign viewers not familiar with the situation in Romania in the late 1980s may be unaware that not only abortion was illegal there, but contraception as well. In an effort to increase the dwindling population, the dictatorial Communist regime had issued Decree 770 in 1967 which put a ban on not only abortion but also contraceptive medicine. The women in the beginning of the film are obtaining their contraceptive pills illegally through the black market, as well as luxury products like soap and cigarettes. See more »
At the hotel restaurant, Otilia asks for a bottle of mineral water, but the waiter brings her only a glass. See more »
I was fortunate to see this film during the TIFF last week. With Palm d'Or behind the title, my expectation was high and I was amazingly satisfied.
As an audience in TIFF, we also got to have a Q&A session with Cristian, the director and it was apparent to me that he is a very intelligent man. Everything that was in the movie was well thought and planned. There is no accidents about this movie.
There are quite a few unclear scenes. However after, the director answered a few questions for the audience and I got to understand his point of view. It was clear to me what he was trying to show us. There is no wasted scenes or filler during the whole show.
There is a particular scene where many don't understand why it is so long and meaningless. Many viewers got frustrated, irritated and restless after a while. But that is exactly what the director wants us to feel. He plays with his audience through his film. What a brilliant idea ! For those who has seen it, will understand. Your feeling is exactly what Otilia was feelings.
This is not an anti-abortion movie as the director said. There is no political statement. It is just a daily life of a few Romanians during the period and you can feel it through this movie.
For all other foreign film fan, this is an absolute must see for this year.
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