Romania, Palme d'Or awards
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 Ceauşescu 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 film employs a scare factor to drive the message home to the audience. Through long takes that show the abortionist invasive paraphernalia, the procedure and the realistic fetus in the bathroom, the film shares the girls trauma with the audience. Through the use of low key lighting, the director develops a horror-movie environment in the hotel after the fetus is expelled. Otilia journey to find a place to dispose the fetus is surreal and the film utilizes jerky camera movement, sound reduction to concentrate on Olivia's breathing, and unclear pictures. [...]
[...] The film zooms in on the girls where a close up shot shows a blank expression on Otilia thus leaving the audience wondering what is running through her mind and a panicked, confused and resigned look on Gabita, the pregnant girl. In this scene, we are introduced to the various forms of oppression women in particular faced. In 1967, Ceausescu decreed that abortion and all forms of contraception were illegal under the ruse of promoting family values. In truth, he intended to increase the number of people he ruled while ensuring that more laborers were present if needed. During his rule, sex education was not carried out and the standard of living was very low (Charlotte et al. [...]
[...] In the film 4 months weeks and 2 days, the director employed elements of mise-en-scene to show the various forms of oppression women faced in communist Romania. The director was able to do this by creating a distance between the audience and the protagonist as well as between the past and the present. The audience is then forced to try and bridge this gap by placing themselves in the shoes of the girls. This fact is definitely the reason the film has performed very well in the box office. [...]
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