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Graduation
(Bacalaureat)

Screening on Film
Directed by Cristian Mungiu.
With Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus, Lia Bugnar.
Romania/France/Belgium, 2016, DCP, color, 128 min.
Romanian with English subtitles.
DCP source: IFC

Having given up his own dreams long ago, middle-aged physician Romeo Aldea now primarily navigates his relationships with three women: an estranged wife, a frustrated mistress, and his teenaged daughter Eliza. It is Eliza’s big event the title references; he has spent years obsessively working toward that day, when she will be free from the constraints their dead-end province. Yet the day before her crucial final exams, an unfortunate incident proves enough of a threat to a positive outcome that he reluctantly resorts to asking a favor of a friend on the inside, which unravels a series of return favors, ambiguous threats, bureaucracy, pay-offs and ethical conundrums—embroiling him in the very corruption he has taught his daughter to reject. In Mungiu’s quickly moving, gripping drama, both father and daughter, stuck with a limited range of options, have to negotiate the sticky repercussions of an uneasy compromise—raising larger questions about the complexity of Romania’s present and perhaps, future.

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