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January 2008
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile)

By Kam Williams

4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (4 luni, 3 saptamani si 2 zile)


Studio: IFC First Take
Director: Cristian Mungiu
Screenwriter: Cristian Mungiu
Starring: Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean
Genre: Drama
Running time: 113 minutes


Unwanted Pregnancy the Subject of Sobering Rumanian Drama

Judging by a couple of recently-released Oscar hopefuls, Western and Eastern European teenagers must have very different mindsets when it comes to an unwanted pregnancy. Afterall, it’s no big deal for Juno, the terminally-sarcastic tite character of the hilarious teensploit. With the help of her equally-blasé best friend, this proto-typical American rebel simply decides to find a perfect suburban couple to adopt the baby, and then behaves like she’s above it all for the rest of the film till her unplanned bundle of joy arrived.

By contrast, we find relatively-morose Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), the heroine of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, stuck behind the Iron Curtain in Rumania where abortion has been outlawed. Looking lost like Borat’s wayward sister, this glum college student lives in a grey dorm on a grim campus where practically everybody seems to be dealing in contraband (cigarettes, candy, even showers) or is up to some sort of shady shenanigans.

For, you see, this is the late Eighties, during the last days of Communism, so it comes as no surprise when Gabita turns to the black market rather than have the child. Accompanied by her very supportive roommate (Anamaria Marinca), who handles most of the details, she unwittingly seeks out the services of Bebe (Vlad Ivanov), the callous butcher of Bucharest, an unlicensed monster who could care less about the welfare of his vulnerable clients.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is a relentlessly-depressing, slice-of-life drama which unfolds over the course of 24 hours. While the picture, perhaps a little too convincingly, palpably conveys the harrowing ordeal of a desperate female in Gabita’s predicament, before seeing this movie you still might want to make sure you’re in the mood for a feel-bad flick.

The Un-Juno.