Beyond the Hills

“Beyond the Hills,” which opens in limited release this Friday, March 8, and then is available on VOD on March 14, is a humanistic character study about the impossibly deep commitments of faith, but it becomes a torturous exorcism movie in its third act.
This is a repost of my review of the film from the Chicago International Film Festival back in October.

The Sanity Clause

“Beyond the Hills” attacks religion in a draining film that explains how faith and commitments can be destructive. It’s an interesting film in pointing out that sometimes the most damaging words are “we were only trying to help,” but over the top depressing when we realize those helpers are never going to learn.

The Romanian film by Palme D’Or winning director Cristian Mungiu (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) premiered at this year’s Cannes, taking home acting prizes for its two female leads and a Best Screenplay award, but it made its Chicago debut Friday night here at the Chicago International Film Festival. The movie will have a second screening Monday, October 15 at 8:30 at the AMC River East.

The film begins with the reunion of two best friends who once lived together in an orphanage. In the years that they’ve been separated, one remained in Romania and…

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