Beyond The Hills
Aline (Cristina Flutur) and Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) have been brought up together in an orphanage, where they were very good friends, possibly lovers. Alina has escaped to West Germany and learnt Western way, but comes back to see her friend Voichita. By this time, Voichita has become a nun and is happy with her life in the monastery.
What follows is a series of arguments between lifestyles, between beliefs, between ancient and modern, even between East and West; Alina attempts to get Voichita to leave the monastery and go back, beyond the hills, to Germany with her, while Voichita attempts to get Alina to see the error of her ways and join her as a nun.
Who will win the argument? I won’t spoil the film by telling you what happens - you will have to come along to find out - but be prepared to be surprised!
The film’s subject is austere, but it is filmed beautifully - once again the cinematographer is Oleg Mutu (‘In the Fog’, 20th October) - using long takes and the cold, winter light on the hills,
“Mutu's imagery celebrates the vibrant disorder and discord that the rituals of Voichita's sect mean to deny with ideological certainty”
“The film's final shot goes straight to the story's heart and the spectator's. Amazing Grace. Now at last we know what those words mean”