In 1966, Romanian dictator Nicolai Ceausescu sought to boost his nation’s population by criminalizing abortion, declaring, “The fetus is the property of the entire society… anyone who avoids having children is a deserter who abandons the laws of national continuity.” 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a new film by director Cristian Mungiu, explores the ramifications of Ceausescu’s ban two decades later; it’s 1987 and two college women negotiate Bucharest’s gloomy, paranoid black market in an effort to secure an abortion. New York Times critic Manohla Dargis calls the film, which won the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, “ferocious, unsentimental, often brilliantly directed.” We’ll talk to Mungiu about his experiences growing up under a totalitarian regime and his inspiration for 4 Months.
The presidential candidate nomination process – delegates, superdelegates, proportional and winner-take all systems – can make your head spin. And to complicate things, the systems differ from party to party and state to state. We turn to DON KETTL, Penn professor of political science to help us understand it all. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
MANIL SURI talks about his second novel, “The Age of Shiva.” It tells the story of Meera, a woman living in Bombay in the 1960s, her troubled marriage, and her relationship with her son. Suri’s first novel “The Death of Vishnu” was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He is a Mathematics Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
Hailing from Vancouver, The New Pornographers’ members form a sort of indie-pop supergroup with a dizzying number of members, most of whom are active in other music groups or solo careers. Primary songwriter A.C. Newman performed in the Canadian band Zumpano, and his solo debut, The Slow Wonder, came out in 2004. Guitarist Dan Bejar plays under the name Destroyer, and recently released a CD with his sweetheart (Sydney Vermont) as Hello, Blue Roses. Vocalist Neko Case is also an accomplished chanteuse and songwriter in her own right. Still, The New Pornographers’ members haven’t been too distracted to keep putting out material. The band’s newest album, Challengers, ended up on many Best CDs of 2007 lists.
NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: Challengers