Beyond the Hills: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Beyond the Hills

New York Film Festival 2012: Beyond the Hills


Cristian Mungiu’s staggering 2007 abortion drama, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, was already so close to a modern-day horror film that it comes as a slight letdown that his latest—after a five-year pause from feature-making—resembles an undercooked exorcism thriller. Once again, the director’s main protagonists are young women, here, nuns serving in a Moldavian monastery. In impeccable compositions and Mungiu’s hypnotically rigorous pace, we begin to notice that one disciple (Cristina Flutur) is firmly resistant; might she be possessed? The real cause, suggested but never stated, tips toward undoing much of the feminist cred Mungiu earned on 4 Months. Had a Hollywood movie indicted same-sex longing as this art film does, it’s doubtful we’d be watching it at the fest.—Joshua Rothkopf

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