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Cristian Mungiu Talks Not Cutting Cannes Winner 'Beyond the Hills,' New Poster, EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

by Anne Thompson
January 31, 2013 1:49 PM
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And this isn't light subject matter. Mungiu found a 2005 newspaper report of a woman who died strapped to a wooden cross during an exorcism and asked, "How is this possible?" He made up his own story about two young women in love, one who has seen the world since she left the tough orphanage where they comforted each other, and a second who lives safe within a nunnery run by a radical priest. The worldly girl tries to save the cloistered one, by trying to break through the barriers around her friend, mental, spiritual and physical. But everyone treats her as if she is crazy, even possessed by the Devil. 

"The film is trying to help you understand why they were like this," says Mungiu. "It's important not to blame them without understanding them." This style of filmmaking "requires patience from the audience because it doesn't have the regular logic of film, it needs to accumulate a lot of details you need before judgement happens."

That said, Mungiu is open to figuring out a new aesthetic going forward: "Later on I want to understand what is my idea of cinema." Whatever he decides, I'm there. This guy is the real deal.


  • Chris L. | December 21, 2012 5:50 PMReply

    Mr. Mungiu: This "shortlisting" is only a cruel tease. Do not book a flight or a room for Feb. 24. As you will remember from five years ago, your work is far too challenging and inquisitive for the happy-faced souls who ultimately decide this category. You'll always have Cannes. (Pass this message to Mr. Larrain as well.)

  • andrew | June 6, 2012 2:10 PMReply

    I found this and it seems rather close. In 2007 a dramatization of her books on the case was staged in NY . The plot was similar.

  • Anne Thompson | June 6, 2012 12:18 PMReply

    Yes, he talks about a journalist who pursued and documented the case in the interview. But he fictionalized it, making up the relationship between the two girls.

  • andrew | June 6, 2012 12:11 PMReply

    As far as I know Mungiu took his inspiration from two novels by a Romanian writer, a former BBC reporter who documented the case. I would have liked to know more about this.

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