4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

I must have completely zoned out when I read the description of this film. If I had consciously known it was about an abortion, there is no way in hell I would have gone and seen it. I must have also tuned out when people were talking about this film they’ve seen with a drawn out abortion scene in it. For some reason, I was sure this title referred to a movie about a marriage – but I was completely wrong. Set in the Soviet block during the final days of communism, this is a gritty tale about two female students in Bucharest, one of whom is pregnant. Rather than give birth to the child, she has decided to ask her friend for help in organising an illegal termination. With an extremely limited budget, the girls are forced to call on the services of a dodgy backyard operator, in a hotel room. As I said, this is not the sort of film I’d normally go and see. I hate blood, and medical procedures. The thought of watching a poor and desperate young student go through a risky, prohibited and life threatening procedure in a dirty hotel room gives me the chills. However, this was a really good film. It still scared the hell out of me, and was seriously depressing, moving and hard to watch – but the characters and situations seemed so unfortunately real and the film had such well scripted dialogue, that it’s very hard not to appreciate how great a film this really is. It’s not a complex film – there are only a few key characters and a very simple plot, however it’s incredibly dramatic. Watching a dubious abortion take place was too much for a lot of people – there were several that left the theatre near the start of the movie; they obviously didn’t pay attention to the blurb either. But luckily, because I’m too stubborn, I stayed till the end. Although hard to watch, I felt it was an important movie to stick with for some reason. I think I just really cared about the characters (or at least just Otilia). I never want to watch it again – but I’m glad I made it to the end without fainting.

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