Still Center [subtitled]

Still Center

I only sort of understood the Romanian short film Still Center. To the extent I could follow it, it was mostly interesting. But because to a significant degree I didn’t get it, it was ultimately unsatisfying.

A woman is told she is pregnant with triplets. She is uncertain whether to abort. We follow her through several encounters with people that she evidently hopes will help her come to a decision. She talks with her boyfriend (boyfriend or husband, I think boyfriend), talks with her mother about parenthood, listens to an older woman lament how her life was adversely affected by having more children than she and her husband could afford, spends time with a child, talks with her doctor, etc.

Meanwhile, there are indications that as she’s facing her personal decision, the country is facing the decision of whether to criminalize abortion.

Along the way there are various artsy elements—long stretches with no dialogue, bits of animation, unexplained captions, just various symbolic or metaphorical things that I’m sure would mean a lot more to some viewers than to me.

And then it ends without showing how she decides. I think, anyway. Maybe it’s all resolved in some symbolic way I missed.

So Still Center has a potentially interesting subject, but the execution isn’t really of a kind that works best for me.

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