Graduation – Review

(l-r) Dr. Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) talks to his daughter Eliza (Maria Dragus), director Cristian Mungiu’s drama Graduation. Courtesy of Sundance Selects ©

Romanian director Cristian Mungiu grabbed international attention and the Palme d’Or with his 2007 pregnancy drama Four Months, Three Weeks, And Two Days. That harrowing film presented a tour through Romanian creaky bureaucracy and a murky underworld of bribes and corruption in a story built on a controversial topic. In the director’s latest film Graduation, the subject is less heated, but it also explores the difficulties of life in Romania.

Graduation (“Bacalaureat”) centers on a doctor trying to ensure his straight-a student daughter’s best chance at a college scholarship in England, while showing the challenges and complexities of life in Romania. The subject is more universal – the desire of parents for the child to do well – but also paints a bleak picture of Romania life.
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