2017-05-16 16:34:45[UPDATES]

Jury President Collection

 

screening list:Occident,4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,Beyond the Hills,Graduation 

 

Occident (2002)

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Director: Cristian Mungiu

Stars: Dorel Visan/Coca Bloos/Gabriel Spahiu

 

Occident has a storyline about a couple who wish to migrate west. It develops into three interrelated stories, and using black humor, sarcastically depicts the dream of young Romanians in finding better lives in the western world. The narration of the film is quite complicated, weaving a picture of the contemporary society in Eastern Europe with a series of twists and turns.

The turbulent society forces people on a road of depression and pains. Mungiu uses self-mockery to cast the question in front of his audience as anxiety continues to overflow from the stories and characters: Does happiness truly exist in the western world? What should the younger generations do? 

 

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

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Director: Cristian Mungiu

Stars: Anamaria Marinca/Laura Vasiliu/Vlad Ivanov

 

In Romania, 1987, birth control is illegal and abortion is a crime. In Bucharest, a college girl named Gabita finds herself pregnant after being dumped by her boyfriend. Her roommate Otilia decides to help her with a secret abortion. Through a friend, they contact with a doctor who is willing to perform the surgery. However, they cannot raise enough money to pay the fee he charges, so the despicable doctor says Otilia could pay with her own body instead. To help Gabita out, Otilia says yes in the end. After that, Otilia starts to think about her relationship with her boyfriend: if it were she who gets pregnant, what would her boyfriend do? The film’s name is 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and it is the time from Gabita’s getting pregnant to her abortion.

Cristian Mungiu showed brilliant mastery of scenes, using full-length shots to connect scenes naturally. Responsibility, patriarchy and the law…all these topics are touched upon in the film, presenting the helplessness and sadness of ordinary people in that era. 

 

Beyond the Hills (2012)

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Director: Cristian Mungiu

Stars: Cosmina Stratan/Cristina Flutur 

 

The film is an adaptation from a work of journalist Tatiana Niculescu Bran. It is about an old nun who dies after an exorcism in 2005. 

The two main characters of the film, Voichița and Alina, grow up together in the same orphanage. As a young woman, Voichița thinks the convent is the shelter of her soul, so she becomes a nun; Alina goes away to Germany and they rarely contact each other. But their fates are reconnected by something unexpected…

Having achieved success with several movies, Mungiu tried to film “another kind of movie” when shooting Beyond the Hills: he used many full-length shots as usual but almost no music but sounds in nature as background music matching the plot for the film. He thinks that music and editing are external elements that he doesn't want to use too much. Meanwhile, he cast a new actress as the innocent nun, who performed brilliantly. The film is astonishing in its expression of religion, human body and desire. It is deemed by critics as the “fresh blood and air to Romanian New Wave films”. 

 

Graduation 

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Director: Cristian Mungiu

Stars: Adrian Titieni/ Maria-Victoria Dragus/Rares Andrici

 

Romeo and his wife Magda have been married for years, and they are raising a daughter, Eliza, together. The long marriage has worn Romeo and Magda out, and Romeo, having no loving feelings for his wife any longer, has just one plan: to send Eliza to study abroad and leave the country. 

What Romeo doesn't expect is that Eliza is attacked by a stranger before the final exams and gets hurt in the arm. She doesn't do well in the exams as a result. In order to prevent the accident from jeopardizing her daughter’s future, Romeo decides to offer bribes to the teacher who grades the exam papers, disregarding how his wife and daughter would feel. His acts push him off the cliff and down into the abyss. 

Like his other works, Graduation is also a look into the reality to point out problems in the society. In 2016, Mungiu went to Cannes with it. In his own words, this film is about compromise and principle, decision and choice, individualism and teamwork, as well as family, education and days of our lives.

 

 

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