Beyond the hills

Beyond the hills

DVD - 2018 | Romanian
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With this arresting drama based on notorious real-life events, Cristian Mungiu mounts a complex inquiry into faith, fanaticism, and indifference. At a desolate Romanian monastery, a young novice nun, Voichita, reunites with her former companion Alina, who plans to take her to Germany. But Voichita proves unwilling to abandon her calling, and Alina becomes increasingly desperate to reclaim her devotion, putting the outsider at odds with the monastery's ascetic priest.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : The Criterion Collection, [2018]
Edition: Special edition
ISBN: 9781681434438
Branch Call Number: DVD Beyond Romanian
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (152 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
digital,optical,surround,2.0 surround
video file,DVD video


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Jan 14, 2019

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Jun 19, 2018

Inspired by a true story that happened in 2005, two young Romania women (first time actors) who grew up as lovers in an orphanage weighed their limited options to be nuns in an Orthodox nunnery or workers abroad. As the film dealt in length on faith and friendship, the film's narrative shifted in unfamiliar grounds, keeping viewers guessing about what might come next, until the very last frame. In Disc 2, there were ~20 minutes of deleted scenes on related Romanian tapestry of life. Also, an insert of in-depth review of the film by critic Doru Pop, see “Summary.”

7.6/10 IMDb
91% Rotten Tomatoes
79% Metacritic
3.5/4 rogerebert

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.

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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