4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days

Next on our list of movies to discuss is 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. This is the most well known of the 3 movies I watched, being critically acclaimed and listed in many best movies of 2007 lists. The film follows Otilia and Gabriela, two university roommates in Romania, as they try and procure a doctor to perform an abortion for Gabriela. In 1987 abortion was illegal in communist Romania, and both girls are quite poor, so this attempt is quite dangerous and shady. The film explores several themes, including loyalty to a friend, communism, and abortion under a government that declares it illegal. Shot in a very personal and minimalist style, what made this film such an enjoyable viewing experience is that it lets the viewer come to their own judgements. It explores communism without ever saying it. It has been seen as both pro-life as well as pro-choice. What it sets out to do is show the conditions of poor Romanian citizens during this pivotal time period, a goal I think it definitely achieves. The story itself, while brutal and at time nerve-wracking, is not the strong point of the film. Where it really shines is in the style of its delivery. By using what basically a documentary footage style camera, without any of the glamorized lighting or grand music of typical Hollywood films, the characters and their plight pack real emotional punch. You get drawn into their struggle, and the camera work makes you feel as if you are peaking int through a window, unable to act but rooting for them nonetheless.

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