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Essential Event Info

W H A T :

  • Drama, film noir, suspense.
  • Director Christian Mungiu; 113 minutes; in Romanian with English subtitles; released December, 2007.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
    T-Meter 96% Fresh;
    Top Critics 100% Fresh.
  • This film is Not Rated (NR). Suggest R for sexual themes and sensitive topics.
  • Post-film discussion with film critic Steve Rosen and CWC director Tim Swallow.

  • W H E N :

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2008
  • Wednesday, July 23, 2008

  • All screenings at 7:00 pm,
    doors open at 6:30 pm

    W H E R E :

  • Cincinnati Art Museum,
    953 Eden Park Dr, Eden Park/Mt. Adams.
  • Easy Access, Free Parking
    click for Directions & Map

  • T I C K E T S :

  • Cincinnati Art Museum,
  • Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for Art Museum members, ETA/Start members, military families and students with valid ID.

    $7 tickets are ONLY available online, by phone, at the Museum, and at the door subject to availability.


  • CWC: 859 957 3456
  • at the Art Museum or by calling 513 721 ARTS

  • ...and at these locations
    ($9 tix only, cash only),
    click each location below for a map:

  • Clifton-Ludlow Ave. -
    Sitwell's Coffee House
    513 281 7487

  • Mt. Lookout Square -
    Lookout Joe Coffee Roasters

    513 871 8626

  • College Hill - North Central Cincinnati -
    The College Hill Coffee Co.
    513 542 2739

  • Northside-Hamilton Ave -
    Shake It Music & Video
    513 591 0123

  • Downtown Cincinnati -
    Coffee Emporium
    513 651 5483

  • Tickets will also be available at the door, subject to availability.

    Director's Comments, Cristian Mungiu:

    "The screenplay starts from the kind of personal experience that people usually don't share with others. Something unexpected happened with the people who came in contact with my story: once they heard it, they had a personal story of this kind to share. All of a sudden, everybody had something to say about this topic.

    "I was amazed to discover how common yet hidden such stories are. Talking to people, I learned the most horrible of stories. I didn't use them in the film - I just followed the story I knew best - but they helped me understand how widespread the phenomenon was.

    "I tried to make a film about my characters and about my story and not about the period. I wanted the period to be always just the context and not the subject of the film. I tried to respect and re-create realities as much as I could but not to push stereotypes and landmarks of late communist times in front of the camera.

    "Objects of that period are all there in the film but in the background: the bus that ran on bomblike gas cylinders; Lastun, the local Romanian car that was often compared to an iron; the trash bins; the booklined walls. The habits from those times are also there: a pack of Kent cigarettes was much more important then the money you paid for it and you couldn't solve anything without it."




    OUR THOUGHT-PROVOKING July film selection is worth seeing for a number of reasons:  excellent acting, great filmmaking, a gripping, high-tension storyline, a controversial subject with life-altering consequences and the director's respect for his audience.

    THIS IS A FILM ABOUT the nature of friendship and personal responsibility, offering a compelling and at times horrifying slice-of-life from the days of the communist-ruled Eastern Bloc nations.

    SET IN ROMANIA during the final years of the oppressive regime of Nicolae Ceausescu (aka the "Butcher of Bucharest"), 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days takes place within a 24-hour time period as two women in their early twenties negotiate for an illegal abortion -- a not uncommon and often fatal act punishable by ten years in prison.

    BUT THE REALITY of the film reveals otherwise - director Christian Mungiu does not yield to judgmental or polemic temptation. Rather, his film - based on a true story - is an observation of the conditions faced by women in Romania where the act was (and is) often viewed as a means of contraception; and where thousands of women have died as a result of illegal abortions. It is also worth noting that while abortion was banned in Romania under Ceausescu, it was not for moral or religious reasons but for the political purpose of increasing the population.

    Film review by Larry Thomas, WVXU Cincinnati, July 19, 2008

    As directed by the talented Cristian Mungiu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is a shattering film showing how, in a Communist state, the thumb of oppression on its citizenry affects every personal decision, from a simple purchase to a life-altering event. ... Since the government at that time was watching everyone for everything, the film plays out like a tense spy thriller. ...The performances are terrific, especially Anamarie Marinca as Otilia.

    In 2007, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days became the first Romanian film to win the coveted Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. If, as some have proclaimed, this film is the dawn of the new wave of Romanian cinema, it likely won't be the last. Too bad it wasn't nominated for the 2008 Oscar, as it would have been the front-runner.

           © 2008, Cincinnati Public Radio     Read the complete review ...

    New York Times Critic's Pick,
    Film Review by Manohla Dargis, January 25, 2008

    "4 Months" deserves to be seen by the largest audience possible, partly because it offers a welcome alternative to the coy, trivializing attitude toward abortion now in vogue in American fiction films, but largely because it marks the emergence of an important new talent in the Romanian writer and director Cristian Mungiu.

    Mr. Mungiu never forgets the palpably real women at the center of his film, and one of its great virtues is that neither do you. ... a triumph of aesthetic choices, of fluidly moving camerawork, rigorous framing and sustained long shots that allow you to explore the image rather than try to catch hold of it.

           © 2008, The New York Times Company     Read the complete review ...

    Film Review by Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times, February 7, 2008
    Ebert Rating:  

    Gabita is perhaps the most clueless young woman ever to have the lead in a movie about her own pregnancy. This is a powerful film and a stark visual accomplishment, but no thanks to Gabita (Laura Vasiliu). The driving character is her roommate Otilia (Anamaria Marinca), who does all the heavy lifting. ... While Anamaria Marinca gives a masterful performance as Otilia, don't let my description of Gabita blind you to the brilliance of Laura Vasiliu's acting. These are two of the more plausible characters I've seen in a while.

    Filmmakers in countries of the former Soviet bloc have been using their new freedom to tell at last the stories they couldn't tell then. "The Lives of Others," for example, was about the East German secret police. And in Romania, the era has inspired a group of powerful films, including "Mr. Lazarescu" and "12:08 East of Bucharest" and "4 Months," which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2007 ...

    The film has inspired many words about how it reflects Romanian society, but obtaining an illegal abortion was much the same in this country until some years ago, and also in Britain, as we saw in Leigh's "Vera Drake." The fascination of the film comes not so much from the experiences the friends have, however unspeakable, but in who they are, and how they behave and relate.

           © 2008, Roger Ebert Chicago Sun Times     Read the complete review ...

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    To complete your night out, we've arranged dinner discounts with two restaurants offering ambiance and great food at reasonable prices:

    Andy's Mediterranean Grill is conveniently located just a few blocks from the Art Museum at 906 Nassau Street near Gilbert Avenue.

    Ask your server for the CWC Discount on these nights and receive receive a 10% food-and- beverage discount (excluding alcohol) for dinners before or after the film.

    Andy's features great Lebanese meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian specialities, including Kabobs, Shwarma, Lebanese Pizza, Baba Ghannouj, Labneh, Falafel, Hummus with Tahini, etc. Reservations suggested, call 513.281.9791. Click here for directions, menu and general info and click here for a map.

    The Terrace Café at the Cincinnati Art Museum offers the convenience of a single destination for your meal and your movie; and outdoor dining in the Courtyard is available during warm weather.

    CWC ticket holders attending on Wednesday film nights will receive a 10% discount (excluding alcohol); just ask your server for the CWC Discount. The restaurant fills up quickly on film nights, so reservations are recommended, call 513.639.2986. View menu here.

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    Post-Film Discussion

    Discussion Leaders:

  •   Steve Rosen, Film Critic
  •   Tim Swallow, Director, CWC

  • Steve Rosen

    Visual-arts Editor for Cincinnati CityBeat, Steve Rosen is also a contributor to the weekly paper's film coverage. As a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, he has interviewed filmmakers and performing artists and wrote about film, music and the arts for publications such as the Boston Globe, L.A. Times, Dallas Morning News, Variety, Indie Wire, Harp Magazine, Paste, and Screen Daily. Mr. Rosen was the film critic for the Denver Post from 1997-2002 and before that won a National Music Journalism Award for music commentary. A Cincinnati native, he was an Enquirer reporter in the 1980s.

    His film reviews are collected at RottenTomatoes.com and these and other writings can also be found online at these publications:  IndieWire,  Screen Daily  and Cincinnati City Beat.

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