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4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days


Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Cristian Mungiu 
Starring: Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean, Ion Sapdaru.  
An image from 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

It’s Romania, 1987, an oppressive Soviet style government is in power, and abortion is illegal. Two friends, sharing a room in a run down state university, are desperately trying to arrange an abortion for one of them who has become pregnant. In a country dominated by shortages and black markets this quickly proves an expensive and dangerous process, which forces the two women to enter the sphere of the Romanian criminal underworld, and potentially risk an encounter with the state's secret police.

The film largely focuses on the attempts of the two women to maintain normal relations between themselves and those close to them, during and after the abortion. While the impact of an abortion might at first seem limited to one person, Director Cristian Mungiu suggests that it soon has a knock-on effect on family and friends. In short, the film manages to be both political and personal.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was planned as part of a trilogy on Soviet era Romania, and its dark mood was intentionally meant to counterbalance the light humour of the other two films. Watched alone, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is certainly an emotionally draining film, but it is definitely worth the effort for the insight it offers into a world which to a large extent disappeared, but which equally continues to bear parallels with other countries around the world.

If similar Soviet era films like The Lives of Others appealed to you then this is definitely a film worth seeing, and otherwise it is still worth checking out just for what is a brilliantly directed film. Beautifully shot in the Romanian capital, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days joins a growing legion of films examining the effect of the Soviet system on Romanians.

Lewis Bush

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Autumn Term (35mm)