In one fell swoop, Cristian Mungiu seemingly put Romanian cinema on the map in 2007 with his excellent abortion drama “4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.” With an unfussy style that favors long takes over continual edits, Mungiu’s cinematic approach allows not only for heightened drama as viewers are pulled into the story on screen, but it also makes the actors the center of attention, and the performances in turn are much more real, raw and involving. And for his long-awaited followup feature “Beyond The Hills,” Mungiu once again uses those tools to brilliant effect.
Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival last spring, his latest tells the story of two girls whose friendship is severely tested when one of them falls in with a strictly orthodox religious sect. In our review from Cannes, we called the picture “a powerful effort,” and “a slow burn drama…in which love and faith are both different kinds of poison.” And indeed, jury members at the festival were taken by the picture as well, awarding Mungiu an award for Best Screenplay while the two leads, Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, shared the Best Actress prize.
This exclusive U.S. poster for the movie powerfully captures the essence of the film in a pretty stunning image. Sundance Selects will open the film in limited release starting on March 8th.