4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Romanian director Cristian Mungiu's small film "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" has won the top prize at the 60th Cannes Flim Festival. Mungiu's film, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," is a "harrowing" look at an illegal, back street abortion in communist-era Romania. It is the story of a timid student in a small town is desperate to terminate her mid-term pregnancy at a time when abortion is illegal but almost anything can be bought on the black market. In the film the pregnant Gabita, with the help of her friend, Otilia, meet with the inhuman and manipulative abortionist Mr. Bebe. In what is said to be one of the most powerful scenes in the film, Mr. Bebe gives the girls a purposely graphic description of the abortion procedure.
Not content with taking life, however, Mr. Bebe exploits the situation further, demanding that Gabita and Otilia pay the terrible price of their personal dignity by exchanging sex for the abortion. According to one reviewer, the scene takes place “notably off camera,” showing Mungiu’s ability to instill “a sordid and heavy environment without yielding to demonstration.”
It makes a point,” the director told reporters at a press conference. “People should be aware of the consequences of their decisions."
As reported by LifesiteNews.Com:
“4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” is the second film about abortion to win the highest award at a prestigious international film festival in the last year. “Bella,” which also tackled the topic of abortion, was the winner of the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.
In fact, at least on the superficial level, the two films have much in common. Much like the Romanian film, “Bella” was extremely low budget, and was praised for its intimacy and eschewal of Hollywood hyper-polish. Much of the camerawork in “Bella” is static, instead allowing the story of the film to speak for itself. “Bella,” much like “4 Months” also takes place over a 24 hour period, and centers around the difficult decision of a young pregnant woman about whether or not to abort her child.
Update: The Catholic News Agency comments on “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days”:
The film has caused much controversy as some consider it pro-abortion propaganda, while others see it as brutal warning of the consequences of taking the life of the unborn.
The film tells the story Gabita, a timid student from a small Romanian town, who desperately wants to end the life of her unborn child, even though that she is more than half-way along in her pregnancy.
The friend that helps her get an abortion has to navigate through a world of corruption and political repression, in which anything can be bought if one has the right connections with the black market, and is presented as a hero.
On the other hand, the director also shows an extended and shocking scene of the aborted baby, and portrays how corrupt the doctor is, who is heard graphically describing the abortion in all of its rawness and repugnance. He said the decision to show the unborn child on screen “is intended to send a message: people should be aware of the consequences of their decisions.” Mungui was presented the award by actress Jane Fonda, who despite her “conversion” after separating from media mogul Ted Turner, continues to be an avid abortion-rights supporter.
While the film “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” shows a woman having an abortion (before it was legal to do so in Romania), it sounds like it may also be showing how horrific the consequences of making such a decision is, which may be a good thing. I do not condemn this movie at all nor do I recommend it, but would like to see it for myself and then decide whether or not it reveals the truth. It is sad that there are still abortions done today (legally) in which the same horrific consequences result and women are scarred for life. Just because the murder of a child in the womb has been decriminalized doesn't mean that is any less trauamtic for its victims: the child, the mother, the father, the extended family, and society as a whole.