Sunday, February 10, 2008

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Today I saw 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, starring Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu.

Who knew that a film could be both pro-life and pro-choice?

The time is the 1980s, the place is Romania. One college student, Gabriela (Vasiliu) is desperate to get an abortion; her roommate Otilia (Marinca) is just as desperate to help her. In their current society, it is illegal for Gabriela to have the procedure, so they learn through a friend of a man who performs them secretly.

After the maddening dash to secure a hotel room to perform the procedure in, we're introduced to the less-than-noble abortionist, Mr. Bebe (Vlod Ivanov), who scolds the girls for not following his instructions to the letter and maliciously makes them pay for it.

The story progresses in real-time from Gabriela's decision, Otilia's turmoil over the ordeal and the resulting emotional damage.

I won't say any further about specifics because I couldn't without spoiling, but I will say that as a woman, I had to leave the theater once because I thought I was going to be sick.

The things they choose to put the audience through (and the things they make you see) are so harrowing you can't help but envision yourself in place of the girls and wonder if you'd make the same decisions.

The film is pro-life because it truly shows the dangers and horrors of what an abortion can do, both physically and emotionally. It is pro-choice because most of those horrors are avoided by the option of legal abortions, performed by doctors in sterile, safe environments.

It's a travesty that this film wasn't nominated for several Oscars and also that it's currently only being shown in limited release. Everyone should see this. Especially those here in the U.S. that think Roe vs. Wade should be overturned. I can't imagine that after seeing this any of them could sleep at night picturing their daughter or girlfriend or sister in a similar situation.

The bravery of the filmmakers to bring us such a graphic, honest rendition of the controversial topic cannot be understated.

Go see this. But go on an empty stomach.

1 comment:

paul said...

What an amazing film! All the main characters are very well written and the raw feeling of the Romania of 20 years ago is vividly depicted. There is tension throughout. i found it compelling.