4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

4months3weeks2days
4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile | 2007 | 113 mins | Romanian w. English / Indonesian subs

Dengan lokasi sebuah kota Romania (tanpa nama) di era akhir CeauÅŸescu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days menceritakan dua mahasiswi politeknik–Otilia Mihartescu (Anamaria Marinca) dan Gabriela ‘GăbiÅ£a’ Dragut (Laura Vasiliu), kawan sekamar dalam asrama universitas, yang sedang mengusahakan aborsi ilegal untuk GăbiÅ£a (saat itu Romania mempunyai polis natalis terhadap aborsi).

Fokus cerita diarahkan bukan pada GăbiÅ£a sendiri, melainkan pada dan diceritakan melalui Otilia sebagai teman, saksi, dan fasilitator. Lebih dari sekedar film propagandistik mengenai aborsi, 4 Months, 2 Weeks and 2 Days tidak hanya menghakimi ataupun menyanjung problem abrosi. Film ini tidak memberi penjelasan mengenai kehamilan Gabita, ataupun kenapa Otilia dengan setia bersikeras membantu Gabita, bahkan sampai memberikan tubuhnya pada dokter aborsi. Gabita di sini tidak digambarkan sebagai teman (ataupun “korban”) yang menimbulkan simpati, bahkan cenderung sembrono: dia berbohong mengenai tanggal kehamilannya, membebankan urusan-urusan booking hotel pada Otilia, lupa membawa alat-alat keperluan vital, dan pada adegan terakhir, dia cenderung acuh makan hidangan di hotel.

Seks tidak dihadirkan secara kasat mata di layar, meskipun bayang-bayangnya menghantui retakan kesehari-harian yang terus berjalan; terutama tampak pada adegan pesta ulang tahun ibu Adi, pacar Otilia. Soundtrack tanpa musik dan long-take, static shot makin mempertegang apa yang terlihat dan tidak.

Situs resmi: http://www.4months3weeksand2days.com/


Set in an unnamed town in Communist Romania in the final years of the Nicolae CeauÅŸescu era, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days tells the story of two students–Otilia Mihartescu (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabriela ‘GăbiÅ£a’ Dragut (Laura Vasiliu), roommates in the university dormitory, who try to arrange an illegal abortion (Communist Romania had a natalist policy against abortion).

4months3weeks2days-coverInstead of focusing on the one having the abortion, Mungiu tells the story from the point of view of the the friend, as a witness, facilitator, helper. Far from mere propagandistic abortion film, 4 Months, 2 Weeks and 2 Days does not paint tear-jerking portrayal of their plight. Nothing is explained about the cause of Gabita’s condition, and why Otilia steadfastly helps her to the extent of having sex with the doctor (friendship?). Gabita,, the mother, is no likeable, “innocent” victim: she lies about the dates of her pregnancy, relies on Otilia to contact the abortionist or to book a hotel room by herself, keeps messing up, forgets to bring an essential prop (a plastic table-cloth), and then, at the end, while Otilia seems visibly distressed by her experience, Gabita quietly eats, almost as if oblivious of the stress and dangers she has put them through.

Mungiu keeps the sex off-screen, creating connotative shadows that seep through the cracks of normative realities he portrayed, particularly prominent in the birthday party scene of Otilia’s boyfriend’s mother. The contrived atmosphere contrasts with invisibly inner tumult, gradually revealing the little splits of differences. The film is shot without music, relying on static, long-take shot (of handheld camera?), making the tension between the visible and the invisible even more wrenching.

Official website: http://www.4months3weeksand2days.com/

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Founding director, c2o library & collabtive. Currently also working in Singapore as a Research Associate at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). Opinions are hers, and do not represent/reflect her employer(s), institution(s), or anyone else with whom she may be remotely affiliated.

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