The Cannes Film Festival has once again confirmed its radical reputation by choosing to give its top award this year to a controversial Romanian film on abortion.
Despite the fact that the film did not have the majority support of the public, the Cannes jury decided to give the top award to Romanian director Cristian Mungui, whose film “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” recounts the attempts of young girl to obtain an illegal abortion in Communist Romania.
The film has caused much controversy as some consider it pro-abortion propaganda, while others see it as brutal warning of the consequences of taking the life of the unborn.
The film tells the story Gabita, a timid student from a small Romanian town, who desperately wants to end the life of her unborn child, even though that she is more than half-way along in her pregnancy.
The friend that helps her get an abortion has to navigate through a world of corruption and political repression, in which anything can be bought if one has the right connections with the black market, and is presented as a hero.
On the other hand, the director also shows an extended and shocking scene of the aborted baby, and portrays how corrupt the doctor is, who is heard graphically describing the abortion in all of its rawness and repugnance. He said the decision to show the unborn child on screen “is intended to send a message: people should be aware of the consequences of their decisions.” Mungui was presented the award by actress Jane Fonda, who despite her “conversion” after separating from media mogul Ted Turner, continues to be an avid abortion-rights supporter.
The controversial film beat out 29 other films, including new productions from Quertin Tarantino, the Coen brothers and Wong Kar-wai.