Tuesday, February 26, 2008

4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

The setting for this grippingly horrible movie is Romania, in 1987: that is, two years before Nicolae Ceausescu was executed, but nine years after he was awarded an honorary knighthood by the Labour government of James Callaghan - and 20 years after he had outlawed abortion in Romania to increase the birth rate. It all seems at once a very distant and very recent era, and I can't think of a film that has shown life in the eastern bloc more fiercely than this; without ever being overtly political, it makes you feel humanity itself being coarsened and degraded by the state. In recent memory, we've seen The Lives of Others and Good Bye Lenin!, which affected to be about the last days of European communism, and they have been very effective in their own differing ways, but outclassed and made to look lenient and inauthentic by this brutal masterwork.

Read here the continuation of this article, signed by Peter Bradshaw and published on January 11, 2008 by The Guardian.

1 comment:

Kris McCracken said...

This really is a harrowing film; I think you're correct in your observation on post-communist 'nostalgia' of recent films. I'm always disturbed/amused by the quite open market there is for communist icons in places like Poland, Eastern Germany etc. Could you imagine the outcry if someone was in the street selling SS badges, hats and so on, like the do Stasi memorabilia?

Anyway, this is my first visit to your blog and I'd like to thank you for the effort. I've always be fascinated by Romania, and I will be back.