4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days aka 4 Luni, 3 Saptamani si 2 Zile, written and directed by Cristian Mungiu
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
This is the winner of what I consider as the most prestigious award that a film can win:
- The Palme d’Or in 2007
There are obviously a multitude of other prizes, even if the Academy Awards members have proved again that they often make mistakes:
- One of the best films ever has not been even nominated
- It was on the list of nominees for the Golden Globe for Foreign Film, but lost to The Bell and the Butterfly
It is a tense drama that is hard to watch.
Especially once you learn that it is all true and the horror was shared, it was not just an isolated event that happened to Gabriela and her friend Otilia.
I must confess here that it happened to my girlfriend- I was about to say it happened to me, but I was a bystander.
The suffering was not mine, even if the responsibility was more on my shoulders- I guess, and the abortion was an ordeal.
In the communist regime, they needed all the workers that could be born and so abortion was a serious offence.
Not on moral or religious grounds, just because the lunatics in power and especially the Crazy Big Brother did not have any qualms about keeping the population hungry, in cold, brain washed and living in conditions specific to the middle ages, as long as they could use all these men and women as a sort of cannon fodder in their stupid ideological battles with the “enemies of the people”, capitalists and “exploiters of workers”.
This film presents an accurate image of the system, with the suffering of pregnant young women and the horror involved.
But it is not just about an extreme form of “family planning that has gone terribly wrong, with an unwanted and unborn baby”.
We can see in this exceptional movie the harsh, cruel reality of the corruption, meanness, selfishness and brutality that fester in tyrannies.
The doctor that comes to perform a rather primitive sort of abortion is a brute that may be a clone of Dr. Strangelove from
- Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Vlad Ivanov, one of the best actors in the world today- who has been involved in probably the best film of 2016- Toni Erdmann-is brilliant in the role of this repugnant, heinous “so called doctor” that represents a creation of the system.
He would do anything for the money, or as it turns out other acts that bring him despicable pleasure, but the girls do not have what he wants.
Gabriela is pregnant, has asked around for the name of this monster and the money needed for the abortion.
But once the abortionist is in the room of the hotel, he starts a litany of accusations and incriminations, unhappy that it was the friend who came to see him, it is not the hotel he had wanted and finally- the pregnancy stage.
Given that we are talking about 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, this is so far advanced that the crime has an even more severe penalty and the criminal is looking at long years, up to ten in a communist prison.
So he wants more money and it is evident that they do not have it, since they were complaining about the bill for the hotel room and they stated that they had 3,000 and had to take out of the supposed abortion cost…
The man starts cursing and showing his true colors, repeating words like fuck, penis, you take me for a fool and who the fuck do you think I am to go ahead with this for this money…it is years in prison for me…and on and on
The girls promise that they will have the money in a few days, but they beg him to perform the procedure- which is basically inserting a sort of tube in the vagina, a really dangerous and antique way to do this- now, since they have to pay a lot of money for the hotel room and they will get the money together…promise!
The wise guy will hear no more and is ready to pack and leave and if that friend said 3,000 for this stage…well, let her do it then!
This is one of the most horrible dialogues and scenes in movie history, at least from where I see it and I mean magnificently written and rendered by Cristian Mungiu and his superb cast.
On a side note, I see the fabulous director every other week or so, given that my daughter is at the same Lycee Francais where Mungiu has his child or children.