Cristian Mungiu, Golden Palm at the 2007 Cannes festival
Report on the release of the film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. The film, by Romania's Cristian Mungiu, a Golden Palm in Cannes, tells the story of a clandestine abortion in Ceaucescu's communist Romania of 1987.
Crowned by the Cannes Jury that the Brit Stephen Frears led in 2007, Cristian Mungiu's film 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days shocked. The filmmaker born in 1968, while still unknown, told the recent story of Romania (1987) by tackling the theme of abortion head-on, a subject that was taboo in the Ceaucescu era. The radicalism of the direction was striking, essentially relying on the length of sequential takes and the creation of a suffocating environment.
The scandal gave birth to a unique and controversial take showing the foetus lying on the tiled floor of a bathroom for 25 seconds. The awarding of the Cannes Prize for National Education, for a while contested by the Minister, would serve to stoke the controversy. The film remains exemplary, as much by the rigour in its editing and a precision of its filming as by the recognition that it gives to a young Romanian cinema whose critical success is growing and growing, from The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005) to California Dreamin' (Cristian Nemescu, 2006).