Beyond the Hills

Rated NR 150 minutes 2013

When Alina (Cristina Flutur) shows up at a Romanian monastery to see childhood friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), she learns that her friend has become a dedicated nun in the service of a priest named Papa, and Voichita has no intentions of leaving. Alina sticks around, tries to assimilate, and fails miserably. Her resistance leads to illness and, ultimately, violent turmoil resulting in an effort to exorcise her “demons.” The movie is supposedly based on a real exorcism gone wrong, and director Cristian Mungiu makes a strong statement about the perils of isolationist religion. Stratan and Flutur shared the Best Actress award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where the film also won Best Screenplay. At more than 2 1/2 hours, it’s a bit tedious at times, but the last hour truly pays off, and you just have to love the final shot.

Film Credits

Director: Cristian Mungiu

Producer: Pascal Caucheteux, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne and Vincent Maraval

Cast: Valeriu Andriuta, Liliana Mocanu, Doru Ana, Cosmina Stratan, Cristina Flutur, Dana Tapalaga, Catalina Harabagiu, Gina Tandura, Vica Agache, Nora Covali, Dionisie Vitcu, Ionut Ghinea and Costache Babii

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