November 24, 2013

Years later

Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu, 2012): There are ways in which the eerie, slow, powerful Beyond the Hills seems to be more than just a reflection of Mungiu’s 4 Weeks, 3 Months and 2 Days – it is almost a continuation of it. That earlier film was set in the closing days of communism; now we are in the world beyond. There are similar predicaments, worlds that seem transient or broken-down, and ineffectual authority. Mungiu’s source is a true story of an exorcism that went wrong in a Romanian monastery but the film is not entirely dismissive of the world of faith/the world of superstition: it recognises its consolations and the shape it offers lives. (Other meanings suggest themselves: Cristina Flutur’s resemblance to Amanda Knox.)