BEYOND THE HILLS (DUPĂ DEALURI)
After winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2007 for 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, Cristian Mungiu returns with another strong film about women and self-determination. This time the story is set in a cloistered Orthodox community in Moldavia where the nuns are outcasts, runaways from a nearby orphanage or seeking shelter from abusive husbands. The actresses who play two women at the center of this tragic story shared the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Alina (Cristina Flutur) leaves Germany and returns to Romania desperate to free the childhood friend she loves — Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) — from the confines of the archaic beliefs binding the Orthodox nuns to their leader. The Orthodox community interprets Alina's thirst for freedom as a demonic spirit, threatening to disrupt their austere life and take action. By the film's tragic end, neither Voichita nor Alina have found fulfillment or freedom. And the memories of their shared romantic past will never cease to haunt their spirits. —Jacqueline Lyanga
Romanian-born Cristian Mungiu's first feature film OCCIDENT premiered at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes. His second feature, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (AFI FEST 2007), was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film
Festival. BEYOND THE HILLS is the writer/director's third film and the winner of the Best Actress prize and a screenwriting award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.