The year 1986 is the time when several women from northern Bukovina, from Iasi, Vrancea and Tulcea, were forced to have abortions in inhumane conditions, although abortion was forbidden. Much later, news arrived in Romania that the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had exploded, exposing the population of the northeast of the country to high levels of radiation and increasing the cases of newborns with deformities. The Romanian Communist Party strongly condemned both women who had abortions and children born with deformities. They were placed in special centers where they were allowed to die, and their parents did not have the right to see or care for them. Irina, played by Isabela Neamțu, is the mirror image of a woman who had to face this moral dilemma – to have an abortion and risk imprisonment. To keep the pregnancy and take the baby if it is born with deformities. Or to keep the child and risk the freedom of the mother-in-law. – Although in the real story the woman lost the fight and the child, and the mother-in-law was able to convince her that the radiation endangered her life, Irina’s character brings to the fore a heroine who faces some sacrifices and obstacles that she overcomes by choosing freedom.
This motto also represents the protagonist of the film, Irina, who is an intellectual woman trapped in a world dominated by fear. Irina can be a Laocoon with a female face, in which during the film the pain of the body and the strength of the soul, both in their intensity, are equally distributed and balanced in the whole composition of the creature, so that at the end of the film she decides to accept the freedom of the woman, of wife and mother. Through this tragic comparison between the past and the present, in which the death and the birth of woman (as a concept) occur in a dramatic way, the film 1986: Lost Year wants to lead the heroine through a successive journey through hellish circles, through catastrophes that are chained together: one catastrophe disappears only to give way to another, and the latter is called the fall of communism and the birth of freedom.