me, myself & andrei

18 Oct 2007
4-3-2, the Movie!

So 17th of October will be “remembered” as the day when I understood.

I understood the message we have (can) tell. On the way out from the cinema, there was at least a small thought in each viewer’s head - Is that all that we can tell? Don’t we have anything to tell? Anything other than communist-era stories? Are we nothing else than a post-communist country for the Western world that we incorporated this idea and we focus on that?

The answer is clear for me:now. I admit that I didn’t think of these questions. I went so much into the movie’s main character, Otilia, that I couldn’t think of something else. But I acknowledged the need to think about these as well.

It is quite true.. after Sergiu Nicolaescu’s non-movies, we had only

  • communism-related movies
    California Dreamin’, A fost sau n-a fost, Hârtia va fi albastră
  • countryside-related / post-communism related
    Filantropica, Moartea domnului Lăzărescu

Is it that we look only into exotic scripts? or is it merely the fact that during that period, and immediately afterwards we didn’t have the means to put that on film.

Before ‘89 we had only life-related or love-related stories, and what I mean is that movies were a bit (we can argue) part of the communist utopia. Nobody spoke about the queues for bread and milk, nobody spoke about the illegal abortions, nobody spoke about the small smuggling of foreign products. Nobody could speak about that.

It is only now that we are experiencing freedom - politically speaking, my opinion is that we had a small shock 1996-2000, but that we are free enough only since 2003-2005 - if you want to argue let’s please start from the premise that Iliescu was not what we needed right after the revolution, and let’s not start having that “It could have been worse” reply.

Freedom is not only the horizon to do stuff, but the real possibility to do stuff. The freedom not to be able to choose between becoming a doctor or a chemist, but the possibility to become one without any pressure other than your own will.

So I feel good and proud actually that the topic is not left in the dark, only because there was so much time between the moment of actual fact and the moment of actual possibility to relate the fact. We should explore that in a more personal level - each of us should reflect on those times, on past.

**I have to say that Cristian Mungiu really made it possible to breath along the characters **with his idea of using long shooting. You never realize it, unless you are aware of that before going to the cinema. That is why it is so good - it feels very natural. One of the most real scenes, without any emotional implications was the scene at the birthday party - maybe I was too much into the movie, but I didn’t find it at all abnormal. It was my own self-protection that disconnected me from the scene and made me look at her and become aware of what she is going through.

I think of all the moments, again non-emotional, or non-harsh, the finale was phenomenal. You don’t leave the place as if you were leaving a cinema, but an experience - you leave an experience.

Context Finish
I cannot compare this movie with anything else. It is not great, it is not super, it is not a “must see”, it is not a “how can you leave without it?”. No, I’m not making a mistake - this movie is simply not a cliché, therefore no cliché should be used when referring to it.
It is simple, beautiful, raw - real. Nothing can beat reality!

PS: I wanted to say this a long time - since I was on a plain and I read in Financial Times Magazine about the new real thing coming from Eastern Europe in terms of movie making - THANK YOU, CRISTIAN MUNGIU!

PS2: Without any less gratitude, thank you

  • Anamaria Marinca
  • Laura Vasiliu
  • Vlad Ivanov

Andrei