Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days (in Romanian)

Rating = A-

It takes a while after the movie starts for it to become clear that the two college age women are heading for an abortion for one of the women. The movie is probably viewed by some as a movie about the difficulty of living in Romania just before the fall of the Ceausescu regime. The movie is probably viewed by others as a comment on the situation in a country where abortion is illegal. (A little post movie research revealed that Ceausescu's policy was no birth control, women must get pregnant, and high penalties for abortions, as an effort to increase the country's population by 25 percent in a few years in order to increase the span of his socialism.) I suspect the privations of living in a totalitarian regime with a ruined economy may not be so different from how poor people must live in other countries, and there have been many countries where both birth control and abortion (or certainly the latter) are illegal. I see the movie primarily as the story of a young women who struggles successfully to get by and live up to her commitments when everyone and everything else is making things (unbelievably) hard for her.

I probably need to see the film again to study the writing and film making. It is very good, and I'm not sure how. The tension is maintained at a (too) high (for my comfort) level with often minimal apparent effort. I am reminded of “After the Wedding” and “Lives of Others” (another repressive regime) for the level of tension that is quietly generated.