4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days ★★★★½

Telling a story that is more about friendship, self-sacrifice, and survival than abortion, the film is permeated by a striking realism that gives an insight into life in communist Romania in 1987, under Nicolae Ceausescu’s dictatorship. The beautiful cinematography, the long takes, and the absence of music create a special atmosphere. The final scene is very memorable because it conveys a sense of suffocating hopelessness, breaks the fourth wall, and is symbolically poignant vis-à-vis the opening scene. Gripping, uncompromising, and depressing, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" features brilliant acting (Anamaria Marinca, Laura Vasiliu, Vlad Ivanov, Alexandru Potocean) and masterful direction (Cristian Mungiu), delivers scathing social criticism, and can be seen as a contribution to the abortion debate.