Director: Cristian Mungiu
Cast:Adrian Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragas, Rares Ardrici
Language: Romanian with English subtitles
Country of Origin: France-Belgium-Romania 2016 128 mins. (15)
Winner of the Best Director Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival - Cristian Mungiu
Released by Curzon Artificial Eye
Christian Mungiu's study of the ambiguity of moral compromise revealed by a father-daughter relationship is riveting, masterful 5-star cinema.
Dr. Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni), a successful and respected surgeon lives in Cluj, a small mountain town in Romania and hopes that his hard working 18-year-old daughter Eliza (Maria Dragus) will study psychology at an unnamed UK university, an offer dependent on her getting top marks in her forthcoming exams. The day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted, but not raped. Although physically unharmed she maybe unable to sit her final papers.
Dr Aldea's life has it's own complications. His wife Magda (Lia Bugnar) suffers with depression, he's having an affair with Sandra (Malina Moanovici), a teacher at Eliza's school and a rock thrown through a window and his vandalised car raises questions. Is there something in Dr Aldea's past? Is the attempted rape part of a revenge inspired conspiracy and is Eliza's boyfriend Marius (Rares Andrici) involved? It's time to call in favours. Eliza must get top marks in her exams. 'She must study in the more civilised UK.'
The players in this game of moral compromise are assembled - the school's Exam Committee President (Geln Colceag), the police chief Ivanov (Vlad Ivanov) and the Vice Mayor Bulai (Petre Ciubotaru)) and the innocent Eliza is unwillingly drawn into a corrupt world.
A dysfunctional society, a world of bribes, bureaucratic corruption and moral compromise. The end justifies the means as you climb the greasy pole. Compelling, riveting cinema. 'Graduation' is a 5-star SHOULD SEE, MUST SEE.