Friday, November 8, 2013

După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (2012)

Director: Cristian Mungiu
Writers:  Cristian Mungiu, Tatiana Niculescu
Cast:       Cosmina Stratan, Cristina Flutur, Valeriu Andriuta

Voichita is living in a convent in a remote hill and a friend of hers from the orphanage in which she grew up comes to visit from Germany. They apparently had a sexual relationship at the orphanage and she wants to take her to Germany. The friend becomes increasingly agitated, as Voichita is quite happy with her life in the convent, and is taken to a hospital. She is again taken back to the convent upon promising of wanting a life as nun, but she again become violent upon which an exorcism is performed leading to her death. Voichita is confused with the whole ordeal and the Police arrest the priest who was the head of the convent.

This is the first feature length film from Mungiu after the excellent '4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days'. Film is shot in ultra realistic way with excruciatingly slow pace and no background music. It all slowly builds up towards a philosophical climax in which there is no one to be blamed for the death. It is nice to contrast the film with Friedkin's 'The Exorcist'. Another great film to be put alongside other great films coming out as part of Romanian New Wave.

Rating: 4/5