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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Film Notes: Three Romanian Movies (On Belonging and Corporeality in the New Wave of Romanian Cinema)


Fears are colorless and odorless in the dim light of a Romanian winter. Gabita and her fellow student, Otilia, who wants to help Gabita end her unwanted pregnancy, know this well. They know how dangerous it is to escape the vigilant, panoptical eye of the Ceauşescu regime. They find a man, Bebe—not a doctor—eager to help them. They rent a room in a hotel. The man comes and asks for a shocking price in order to perform the terrifying procedure. (I am not talking about money here….) This is not a hospital, and the only things available in the sordid adventure are a probe, an ampoule of ampicillin, a plastic bag, and towels for the possible hemorrhage and to wrap up the dead fetus and dispose of it in a garbage chute.

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