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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days': A Harrowing and Deeply Absorbing Human Drama from Romania

Movie poster for the Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days starring Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu

“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” (“4 Luni, 3 Saptamâni si 2 Zile”) is a harrowing and deeply absorbing Romanian drama from 2007 that focuses on two university roommates, Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu), living in Bucharest circa 1987. When Gabita discovers that she is pregnant, the two close friends face an overwhelming crisis—in the face of a Communist Romanian government that has completely outlawed abortion.

Terribly ashamed yet unable to rely on her boyfriend for assistance, Gabita leans heavily upon Otilia for support in her dire predicament—testing their friendship and loyalty as Otilia scrambles to locate a doctor willing to perform the grim procedure. Ultimately soliciting the assistance of the dubious Mr. Bebe (Vlad Ivanov) in a grimy Bucharest hotel, both young women are horrified when he refuses to accept money in return for his services—preferring a far less honorable form of payment instead.

Written and directed by Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (“Beyond the Hills”, “Graduation”), “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” is a bleak yet utterly riveting experience, delivering a scathing indictment of Ceaușescu’s oppressive regime through the prism of a tightly wound human drama. It's a strikingly bold, emotionally devastating and impossible-to-forget touchstone of European cinema—and the well-deserved winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.


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