Beyond the hills

Beyond the hills

DVD - 2013 | Romany
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When twenty-something Alina arrives in Moldavia to remove her childhood friend Voichita from an Orthodox nunnery, she doesn't reckon on the unyielding force of religion. Behind the bare convent walls the devout Voichita's choice of God over Alina brings their relationship to a physical and moral crisis.
Publisher: [Australia] : Distributed by Madman Entertainment, c2013.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (DVD) (ca. 145 min.) : sd., col. ; 12 cm.
Alternative Title: Dupa dealuri (Motion picture)

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voisjoe1_0
Jun 29, 2018

Thanks to Criterion Collection, we in the USA can now view two of Cannes Palme d'Or winner Cristian Mungiu's films, this one ("Graduation") and here "Beyond the Hills." So far it seems that Mungiu spends two or three years writing and directing each of his films. They are stories he wants to work on, and it seems that each one is different from the others. In this instance, Mungiu tackles something based on a true story, a religious monastery, isolated from mainstreet Romania. In fact, he actually built a studio set on a hill, isolated by a few miles from a real Romanian town. He tells the story of what happens when a group of "nuns" led by an autocratic "priest" meets a relatively non-religious young girl. Rather than demonize the religious zealots, Mungiu lets you decide the good and bad of both sides of the story.

c
Cas22
Jan 11, 2016

First of all, let me say, this intense, thought-provoking movie from Romanian director Crisitian Mungiu is not for everyone. For a start it’s 2.5 hours long and it’s slow – grindingly slow at times. However, it’s these very qualities that allow the viewer to become immersed in the situation and struggles that the film so aptly depicts. It not only held my attention right to the end but stayed with me afterwards. The film is set in a small religious community in rural Romania and the struggle is essentially one between religion and secularism played out through the relationship between two young women – one a nun and the other a visiting friend. But, despite the tragic consequences, there are no clear heroes or villains, just people struggling with what they believe is right, however misguided, and trying to do the best they can. And it is this ambivalence, this refusal to make judgements, which makes “Beyond the Hills” such a powerful and refreshing film.

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