Beyond the Hills

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Beyond the Hills
Beyond the Hills.png
Film poster
Directed by Cristian Mungiu
Written by Cristian Mungiu
Based on Deadly Confession and Judges' Book 
by Tatiana Niculescu Bran
Starring Cosmina Stratan
Cristina Flutur
Cinematography Oleg Mutu
Edited by Mircea Olteanu
Mobra Films
Distributed by Sundance Selects (United States)
Madman Entertainment (Australia)
Release date(s)
  • 19 May 2012 (2012-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 26 October 2012 (2012-10-26) (Romania)
Running time 155 minutes
Country Romania
Language Romanian

Beyond the Hills (Romanian: După dealuri) is a 2012 Romanian drama film directed by Cristian Mungiu, starring Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan.[1] The narrative follows two young women at an Orthodox convent in Romania.[2]

The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where Mungiu won the award for Best Screenplay, and Flutur and Stratan shared the award for Best Actress. It was selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards,[3] making the January shortlist.[4]


This is a story of two orphan girls, Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) who joins in a church by choosing a life of nun and her friend Alina (Cristina Flutur) who will join her later from Germany. In their early life they were roommate and had physical relation, that Alina will demand again, but Voichita will refuse. There was no other way for Alina to go to the outer world, so Voichita will insists the Priest (Valeriu Andriuta) to allow her to stay along with them; on the other hand the priest will demand her to be faithful on God and for confession. There would be a psychological constrain in between the two friends. Alina will try to get Voichita out of the orthodox environment, and Voichita will try for Alina to lay down on the way to God.



The screenplay was inspired by two novels by the writer Tatiana Niculescu Bran, documenting the Tanacu exorcism, in which a young member of a monastery in Moldavia died in 2005 after an exorcism ritual. The film production was made through the director's company, Mobra Films. It also received production support from Belgium and France. It received €273,100  from Romania's National Centre for Cinema and €400,000 from Eurimages. Filming took place from November 2011 to February 2012.[2]


Cast and crew at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival

The film premiered in the main competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened on 19 May.[5] At Cannes, Mungiu won the award for Best Screenplay, while Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan shared the award for Best Actress.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Dan Fainaru of Screen Daily wrote from Cannes: "Spare, unadorned and strikingly shot, Cristian Mungiu's film is an unusual rendering of a Romanian exorcism case and is bound to split both audience and critical opinions, some considering it a major achievement and others blaming it for overlong pretentious sensationalism. But it will certainly not pass unnoticed."[7]

Sight & Sound film magazine listed the film at #8 on its list of best films of 2012.[8]

Mark Kermode named it his second best film of 2013 so far (from January to June).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cannes Film Festival 2012 line-up announced". timeout. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ a b Staff writer (2012-04-18). "Romania's Mungiu in Post-Production with French/Belgian Coproduction". Film New Europe. Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  3. ^ "Romania picks 'Beyond the Hills' for Oscar race". Variety. Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  4. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Vie For Oscar". Oscars. Retrieved 2012-12-21. 
  5. ^ "Screenings guide". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  6. ^ "Awards 2012". Cannes. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  7. ^ Fainaru, Dan (2012-05-18). "Beyond The Hills". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2012-05-19. 
  8. ^ "Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' Tops Sight & Sound's Best Of 2012". Retrieved 1 December 2012. 

External links[edit]