FILM TREND: The Romanian New Wave and BEYOND THE HILLS by Rania Richardson

Just as in fashion and design, we can track trends in motion pictures. According to film critic Rania Richardson of Criticwire, Romania has been a hot bed of film activity for the past decade, and BEYOND THE HILLS, by Cristian Mungiu, is the current US theatrical release from what has become known as The Romanian New Wave.


The Balkan nation on the Black Sea suffered through a bloody revolution in 1989 that ended over 40 years of communist rule, including severe political repression under the totalitarian leadership of Nicolae Ceausescu.  Emerging from the ashes of this period, filmmakers find ample subject matter in history as well as critiques of modern society.  Films of the Romanian New Wave are categorized by their austerity, realism, and minimalist aesthetic style, as well as social consciousness, iconoclastic themes, and black humor.


BEYOND THE HILLS follows a young woman who seeks the comfort of her childhood friend who has become a nun in an Orthodox convent.  Tormented by her past and the circumstances of the cloistered order, the young woman has a fit of madness that can’t be cured until a priest attempts to exorcise her demons.  Tragedy follows that implicates the institutions that govern the post-communist nation—religion, law enforcement, and health care.  The film is based on true events.


Other films from the New Wave include Cristi Puiu’s THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU (2005), Corneliu Porumboiu’s 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST (2006), and 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (2007) that sealed Mungiu’s status as a world-class auteur when he won the ultimate prize in international film, the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.  The country continues to garner awards—in February, CHILD’S POSE by the Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer, took the top prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

FOR MORE IMAGES: BEYOND THE HILLS Pinterest Board by Rania Richardson
This board includes film stills, the trailer, information/review sites, and the poster for BEYOND THE HILLS. Also included, the real-life priest who performed the “exorcism.” (Check out his red beard!!!) There are also some traditional Romanian textile patterns and Romanian icons.

Follow Rania on Twitter

Follow Rania on Twitter


Friday, March 08, 2013 ยท Categories: Film and Television, Trend Analysis
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