Mill Valley Film Festival: Beyond the Hills

Beyond the Hills
By Cristian Mungiu

Sat, 10/6 11:45 AM
Fri, 10/12 12:00 PM

Cristian Mungiu’s much-anticipated follow-up to his award-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days delivers a formally rigorous masterpiece that confirms the Romanian filmmaker as a cinematic titan. At the same time, Beyond the Hills extends the earlier film’s critique of social and patriarchal hypocrisy while taking on no less than faith, desire, God and the Devil (probably). Reunited after months of being apart, Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) and Alina (Cristina Flutur) clinch each other tightly in a train station. The former has chosen to become a nun, living in a rural monastery; the latter has come to rekindle a long-dormant intimacy. But when Voichita refuses to leave her new home, Alina’s behavior becomes highly erratic, leading the head monk to conclude that this visitor is, in fact, demonically possessed. Mungiu here takes his country’s fertile New Wave to its logical bigger-picture endpoint—and aims at its future beyond the horizon.

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