Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Romania, 2007. Mobra Films, Centrul National al Cinematografiei, Mindshare Media, McCann-Erickson, Televiziunea Romana, Saga Film, The Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam Festival. Screenplay by Cristian Mungiu, script consultant Razvan Radulescu. Cinematography by Oleg Mutu. Produced by Cristian Mungiu, Oleg Mutu. Production Design by Mihaela Poenaru. Costume Design by Dana Istrate. Film Editing by Dana Bunescu. Cannes Film Festival 2007. Golden Globe Awards 2007. Toronto International Film Festival 2007.
Heartbreaking drama that follows one woman as she does her best to help her friend safely procure an abortion in Communist Romania. As it is a time when any form of contraception is illegal, the situation is precarious for both women as they must navigate issues of money, privacy and one very demanding abortionist in the hopes of pulling it off without risk to them legally or physically. Shot using excruciatingly long takes during which the actors don’t miss a single beat, the film is painfully intense, steady from the get-go and extremely realistic. Anamaria Marinca is exceptional in the lead, giving a performance that keeps the film afloat, while the great Luminita Gheorghiu shines in a brief supporting role. It deals with its subject matter frankly and graphically; some audiences members might be turned off, but it’s never exploitative.