Cristian Mungiu

(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

6.8 Occident (2002)
7.2 Beyond the Hills
7.1 Bacalaureat/ Graduation
7.0 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Cristian Mungiu

Occident (2002)

4 Luni 3 Saptamani si 2 Zile/ 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007) is virtually a horror movie, except that it is about the psychological humiliation of two girls not a gorey massacre.

During the communist regime in Romania, two female students who share a room in a dorm, the shy Gabita and the more experienced and bossy Otilia, are preparing for a two-day trip because Gabita needs an abortion. Gabita gives Otilia a sum of money. Later Otilia meets her boyfriend Adi who is about to take an exam and he too gives her money. They argue because he wants her to attend his mother's birthday dinner and she would prefer not to because she has something else more important to do. She reluctantly agrees to show up and to buy flowers. She then looks for a hotel, a process which involves dealing with unfriendly bureaucrat. Then she tells Gabita where to meet, and heads for the place where the doctor, Bebe, is waiting. It's a quick tour of the dilapidated urban landscape of the communist country. They finally arrive at the hotel where the staff is unfriendly as usual. The "doctor" is even more unfriendly to the girls. He interrogates Gabita to find out exactly how pregnant she is and, when he finds out she's already in the fourth month, he is upset. Otilia offers the money that a friend advised her to give him. He laughs at the amount and instead demands sex with both. Gabita is shocked and embarrassed. The man is ready to walk out. Having already paid for the hotel and not being in a position to postpone any longer, Gabita begs him. They offer him more money promising they will raise it quickly. The man wants to walk out of the deal. Then the rational Otilia offers herself. She coldly undresses and let him have sex with her, while Gabita runs water from the sink in the bathroom to cover the noise. Then Otilia walks into the bathroom to wash herself and it's Gabita's turn. Otilia can hear her sobbing while she performs her duty. Once they are done, the doctor proceeds to perform the abortion in a very cold and detached manner. He gives Otilia instructions on how to dispose of the fetus so that the police will not be alerted. He has warned Gabita that she will bleed copiously. In the meantime Otilia has opened his briefcase and found a knife in it, that she hides. Otilia is obviously a good friend: she has gone through hell in order to help Gabita, despite the fact that Gabita failed to do or lied about so many things. (It was Gabita who was supposed to book the hotel room, and it was Gabita who was supposed to meet the taxi driver, and it made a difference that she was four-month pregnant). Otilia leaves Gabita to go to Adi's place. She has forgot to buy the flowers and she is late. During the dinner the guests, mostly doctors, argue about the lack of good manners. When Otilia accepts a cigarette, one of them points out that it's a lack of respect towards Adi's parents. The phone was ringing but nobody picked it up. They drink to Adi's mother. Then Adi and Otilia move to his room and she tells him what happened (except the sex part). Otilia asks Adi what he would do if she got pregnant, and realizes that he has no clue. He is opposed to abortion but has no alternative. Otilia reflects that Gabita is the only one who would help her (indirectly, she explains why she helped Gabita even if Gabita represented such a nightmare). Otilia is disappointed in Adi, and even resents it when Adi tries to make peace. She calls Gabita but there is no answer from the room. Otilia hurries back to the hotel running through dark alleys (and vomiting the dinner). When she gets to the room, she finds Gabita asleep. Gabita whispers that she got rid of it. Otilia has to collect the fetus from the bathroom, wrap it in a bag, and dispose of it (dropping it in the garbage chute of a building). Back at the hotel she finds Gabita eating and smoking at the restaurant. They agree that they will never talk about the whole fact ever again.

Beyond the Hills (2012)

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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