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4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days: A look at Mise-en-Scene

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Petronila A.
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  1. Introduction
  2. Mise-en-Scene
  3. Mise-en-scene and theme development
  4. Conclusion

The award winning film 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days chronicles the life of two Romanian university girls as they navigate the difficult communist life of 1987 Romania. In the film, the two friends embark on journey to perform an illegal abortion after one of the girls, Gabriela, becomes pregnant. The film was directed by Christian Mungiu and produced with his cinematographer Oleg Mutu. The film performed well in the Cannes Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI and Palme d'Or awards. It also won various other awards all over the world and performed well in the box office.

The film mainly portrays the life experienced in the communist regime of Ceausescu through the eyes of the two girls. In the film, the director uses mise-en-scene and long takes to bring out important changes and problems faced by Otilia and Gabita and thus by association portraying the difficulties women faced during the communist era. Through the use of these elements of cinematography, the oppression of women in various forms is illuminated through nostalgia and passive criticism (Bordwell & Thompson 23).

[...] Works Cited Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. 7th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Charlotte, Hord, Henry P. David, France, Donnay, and Merrill, Wolf. ?Reproductive Health in Romania: Reversing the Ceau?escu Legacy.? Studies in Family Planning 22.4 (1991): 231-240. Pramaggiore, Maria and Tom, Wallis. Film: A Critical Introduction. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2005. [...]


[...] 4 months weeks and 2 days: A look at Mise-en-Scene Introduction The award winning film 4 months weeks and 2 days chronicles the life of two Romanian university girls as they navigate the difficult communist life of 1987 Romania. In the film, the two friends embark on journey to perform an illegal abortion after one of the girls, Gabriela, becomes pregnant. The film was directed by Christian Mungiu and produced with his cinematographer Oleg Mutu. The film performed well in the Cannes Film Festival where it won the FIPRESCI and Palme d'Or awards. [...]


[...] The use of deep space also brings out the dilemma facing the girls and their resignation to their fates. The audience is forced to empathize with the girls. In the scene, Gabita capsulizes the typical under-informed Romanian girl forced by her inferior role in society to resort to drastic and emotional scarring practices to survive. Comparing this scene to the dorm scene, we can see how the directors utilized set design to portray the mood and emotional state of the girls. [...]


[...] The script shows a gentle evolution from the protective cocoon of the dorm to a point of painful exposure. In the film, mise-en-scene is used superbly to bring out the main message to the audience. The film does not attack the communist era but however brings out a nostalgic feeling for those who lived during the era and show other viewers an untarnished image of how things were. It is through the use of the various aspects of mise-en-scene that audience is presented with an outsiders look at the plight of women during this era. [...]

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