Movie About Illegal Abortions Wins Top Award at Cannes Film Festival

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 28, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Movie About Illegal Abortions Wins Top Award at Cannes Film Festival Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 28
, 2007

Cannes, France ( — The 60th edition of the Cannes Film Festival was marked by celebrity appearances and independent films on a wide variety of topics. However, the Romanian film "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," which offers a look at illegal abortions, won over the critics to take home top prize.

The movie examines the illegal abortions that were done in communist-era Romania when abortions were prohibited — a topic frequently used as propaganda by abortion advocates to argue for legal abortions.

Featuring Anamaria Marinca, it focuses on the "horrors" a student endures to help her friend have an abortion. It’s named after the age of the baby killed in the illegal abortion.

During his award acceptance speech, according to an AP report, winning director Cristian Mungiu said getting the top prize, the Palme d’Or, is "like a fairy tale."

"It looks a little bit to me like (a) fairytale," Mungui said, adding that the win showed "you don’t necessarily need big budgets and big stars to make stories."

The director spent very little on the low-budget film and almost didn’t have enough money to make it.

Interestingly, pro-abortion activist Jane Fonda handed Mungiu the award and told the audience, "Cinema entertains, but cinema also makes us reflect on the world. And Cannes is a fragile balance between these two realities."

In an apparent attempt to make the movie less polemic Mungiu does include a shocking image of the aborted baby and a graphic description from the abortion practitioner of the abortion procedure involved.

One review of the movie said it also focused on the abortion practitioner’s "chilling exploitation of the women’s dilemma."

"Because of the pressure of the regime, women and families were so much concerned about not being caught for making an illegal abortion that they didn’t give one minute of thought about the moral issue," Mungiu told reporters about his film.

"It was either you or them getting you for what you did."

He said he put the image of the dead baby after the abortion on the screen to making a point — "people should be aware of the consequences of their decisions."

The award comes two years after pro-abortion film "Vera Drake" failed to win any awards at the film festival. It later took home awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the European Film Awards and was a contender for a Golden Globe.