Directed by Cristian Mungiu, 2007.
In 1967 Romania’s last Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu issued ‘Decree 770’ restricting abortion and birth control in his country in order to stimulate the growth of the population. The aim was to expand the nation from 23 to 30 million inhabitants. In the years between the issuing and reversal of the decree in 1989, over 9,000 women died due to complications arising from illegal abortions. Mungiu’s 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile (or: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) is set in 1987, and follows student Otilia Mihartescu as she helps her roommate Găbiţa Dragut to arrange an illegal abortion.
Without any judgment, the film is an all too real portrait of the difficult choice that comes with abortion and the sacrifices it requires. 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile allows us to experience the feeling of oppression that lingered over both men and women in the eighties in Romania. The mood of the film is strengthened by its realism, which stems from long lingering shots accompanied by a flow of natural-sounding dialogue. The sense of fear surrounding illegal abortion is scarier than any monster will ever be, and yet it is something many people in the world are still faced with on a daily basis. Mungiu’s movie is a gripping study of social history.
Content creator Pim Razenberg is an experienced traveller who’s been roaming the planet for many years. After a stint in the Dutch film industry, he lived and worked in Romania, the United Kingdom and Thailand. Pim is currently working in the Netherlands, bringing creative new projects to fruition and writing a novel detailing his journeys across the world.