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4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days 

Directed by Cristian Mungiu

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[image-4]Published June 26, 2008.
4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days
Directed by: Directed by Cristian Mungiu
(Mongrel Media)
4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days (4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile) is a movie filled with lengthy silences: the awkward pauses that ensue when two friends attempt to chat over dinner, after agreeing not to discuss the only thing that's on their minds; the unbearable quiet as a man prepares the tools he needs to perform an illegal abortion. The film takes place during the final years of communism in Romania----when both abortion and contraceptives are forbidden. Consequently, when university student Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) decides she wants a second-trimester abortion, the procedure's difficult to arrange---and the payment the man who agrees to perform the abortion demands of both Gabita and her roommate (Anamaria Marinca) has moral ramifications that extend beyond traditional abortion debate. The aforementioned silences result from people being forced to cope with unimaginable stress, and they're painful. They're also effective---as is the artistry with which writer/director Cristian Mungiu sets up his camera and frames his shots (he's great at creating a sense of the action taking place just beyond the camera). Mungiu's made a haunting, demanding, well-crafted film. I'm just not sure I'll have the fortitude or inclination to watch it again any time soon.
---Lindsay McCarney

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