The title may suggest an inward focus, but this gripping Romanian drama from Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; Graduation) addresses social pressures that are wreaking havoc all over the world, including in Canada: globalization, immigration, xenophobia, and economic injustice are all part of the story’s thick stew, no matter that almost all the action is restricted to a small town in Transylvania.
Matthias (Marin Grigore) returns from his job in a German abattoir when he hears that his eight-year-old son has stopped speaking, spooked by something he has seen in the woods. Alienated from his wife, Matthias recommences a desultory affair with Csilla, who works at the town’s only business of note, a bread factory. Despite high local unemployment, the factory is unable to attract labour and is forced to bring in economic migrants from Sri Lanka. The townsfolk are horrified.
Mungiu charts these twin narratives with his customary dispassionate eye, an apparent objectivity that mirrors his characters’ terse civility, and which should absolutely not be taken at face value. The world is going to hell and Mungiu is taking the bull by the horns.
Thursday October 06
More Films in this Series
Léo and Rémi's summertime adolescent friendship is scrutinized by their classmates, making Léo pull away in self-conscious fear. A stunningly lyrical tour de force that explores that explores the fragile nature of friendship and masculinity.
This sweeping dissection of systemic racism in Canadian hockey culture documents the personal stories of Black hockey players dealing with racism from fans, coaches, other players, and the institutional pressure to remain silent about their mistreatment.
Ryuichi Hiroki’s film tells the story of a woman who loves her mother but can’t muster the same feelings for her daughter. Shot through with the spirit of Greek tragedy, Hiroki creates a rich atmosphere of psychological danger.
In 2014 in Ukraine's Donbass region, Irka, who's seven months pregnant, and her partner Tolik face the dilemma of whether or not to flee the area. As the tense, haunting, and tragic film unfolds, the conflict threatens to tear them apart.
Before, Now & Then
Dreamlike, sensual, and intensely lyrical, Kamila Andini’s Indonesian 1960s period drama is a rare glimpse into the emotional life of a woman who escapes war and enters into the pampered existence of a passionless marriage.
When the first manned mission to Mars hits turbulence due to personality clashes amongst the crew, the higher-ups devise a bizarre solution involving a simulacrum and surrogates. As the deadpan absurdity escalates, Viking mines poignancy from folly.
A privileged housewife in 1968 Chicago finds herself at odds with the patriarchal medical establishment when she requires an abortion to save her life. A timely and relevant film about reproductive justice in the year that Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Steeped in the warmth of summer and the sweetness of peaches, Alcarràs tells the tale of a family in Catalonia suddenly faced with eviction from the land they’ve farmed for generations. A bittersweet tale of love and family in a last idyllic summer.
Crystal Pite: Angels' Atlas
This sublime documentary captures the National Ballet of Canada's rebirth through their staging of Angels' Atlas—their final show before the pandemic shutdown in 2020 and their first performance when the company returned in November 2021.
De Roller, the High Commissioner of French Polynesia, has a problem on his hands: the French Marines have arrived on the islands, and their presence coincides with rumours that nuclear testing is soon to commence. A lush and moody delight.
In her impressive directorial debut, Frances O'Connor plausibly imagines how a shy, demure preacher's daughter (played by the sensational Emma Mackey) might come to write something as bold and primal as Wuthering Heights.
Boy From Heaven
Adam, a young man studying at a leading religious institution in Egypt, becomes a pawn in the struggle between government spies and radical religious leaders. A shrewdly plotted thriller with a superbly expressive performance from Tawfeek Barhom.
In Mashhad, Iran, a serial killer known as The Spider has murdered over a dozen women. Rahimi, a journalist obsessed with finding the killer, soon finds a skewed social morality that praises the perpetrator and condemns his victims.
Tudor Vladimir Panduru
Cristian Mungiu is a Romanian filmmaker born in Iaşi, Romania, in 1968. His debut film, Occident, premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2002. His second feature, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007), was awarded the Palme d’Or in Cannes, and Best Film and Best Director at the European Film Awards. Mungiu returned to Cannes in 2009 as a writer-producer-director with the collective episodic film Tales From the Golden Age, and as a writer-director in 2012 with Beyond the Hills, for which he won Best Screenplay. He won Best Director at Cannes for his fifth feature, Graduation (2016).
Filmography: Occident (2002); 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007); Beyond the Hills (2012); Graduation (2016)