BEYOND THE HILLS

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February 27, 2013, 8:15 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

 

Outside the Box [Office] and Sundance Selects invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

Beyond the Hills

 
Written & Directed by Cristian Mungiu
 
Inspired by the non-fiction novels of
Tatiana Niculescu Bran
 
8:15 P.M. on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
 
The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
 
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

About Beyond the Hills

In an isolated Orthodox convent in Romania, Alina has just been reunited with Voichita after spending several years in Germany. The two young women have supported and loved each other since meeting as children in an orphanage.

Alina wants Voichita to leave and return with her to Germany, but Voichita has found refuge in faith and a family in the nuns and their priest, and refuses. Alina cannot understand her friend’s choice. In her attempt to win back Voichita’s affection, she challenges the priest. She is taken to hospital and the people of the monastery start to suspect that she is possessed.

When the doctors send her back, Alina is included in the monastic routine in the hope that she will find peace. But her condition worsens and they finally have to tie her to a wooden plank to prevent her from hurting herself. After ruling out all other options, the priest and nuns decide to read her prayers to deliver those possessed by the Evil One. They perform an exorcism, but the result is not what they had hoped, and Voichita begins to doubt the religious choice she has made. She decides to free Alina - but her decision comes too late.

Inspired by the non-fiction novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran.

Provided courtesy of Sundance Selects. Not rated. Running time: 150 minutes. In Romanian, with English subtitles.

 

Director's Note

BEYOND THE HILLS is for me primarily a film about love and free will: mostly about how love can turn the concepts of good and evil into very relative ones. Most of the greatest mistakes of this world have been made in the name of faith, and with the absolute conviction they were done for a good cause.

BEYOND THE HILLS also speaks about a certain way of experiencing religion. It has always concerned me how much attention believers place on respecting religious habits and rules and how little on applying the essence and wisdom of Christianity to their day- to-day life, for example.

Preparing for the film I read carefully the list of sins compiled by the Orthodox Church. There are quite a lot (464) and reading them, you cannot but ask yourself all kind of questions. Still, there is a sin that is not listed and which is amongst the most important things about which the film wishes to speak: the sin of indifference. Or maybe it is not a sin, since it’s not listed. But then what is it? Is it dangerous or not? The film also speaks about the various ways in which Evil can manipulate people, and the subtle ways in which it can manifest itself. I wonder whether indifference is not one of them.

Deep down, I hope, BEYOND THE HILLS speaks about options and choices in life deriving from education or from the lack of education, and about how many things in life derive from things that you cannot influence, or of which you are not guilty: where you were brought into the world, by whom, and in the middle of which community. The film also speaks about a region of the world - like many others - where longtime exposure to an endless succession of misfortunes and atrocities of all kinds has led to a breed of inert people who have lost their normal reactions in front of normal stimuli. This is not necessarily their fault - it is just a natural survival mechanism, but one which is experienced as an extra burden for those still alive amongst them.

– Cristian Mungiu, 2012

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 8:10 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.

Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu