• From Mungiu’s latest feature, Beyond the Hills

Last week I had the good fortune to take part in an e-mail exchange with Cristian Mungiu, the Palme d’Or-winning director of 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (2007). That film, perhaps the most celebrated to come out of Romania in the last decade, epitomizes what’s come to be known as the Romanian New Wave—a style of filmmaking marked by hyperrealistic acting and mise-en-scene, complicated long takes, and subtle social commentary. Mungiu continues this approach in his third film, Beyond the Hills, which also won major prizes at the Cannes Film Festival (Mungiu won the best screenplay award and his two young leads shared the award for best actress). Based on the true case of a failed exorcism in a cloistered Russian Orthodox community, Hills is as unsettling and as formally accomplished as its predecessor; it’s currently playing at the Landmark Century in Lakeview.