Panorama | Special Presentations
Winner of the 2007 Cannes Palme d’Or for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Cristian Mungiu returns with this brilliantly written and acted tale about a doctor with a secret who’ll do anything to ensure his 18-year-old daughter gets into a prestigious British university.
In the provincial city of Cluj-Napoca in the northwest of Romania, Dr. Romeo Aldea (Adrien Titieni) has become a success, even if he sometimes wishes he’d made it on a bigger stage. It is perhaps for this reason that he is determined to see his daughter Eliza (Maria Drăguş)—with whom he has a decidedly fraught relationship, partially due to her relationship with an unambitious lunk of a boyfriend—pass her final exam with a high enough mark to secure the UK scholarship that awaits the student with the top score. As a series of increasingly sinister events culminates in an attack on Eliza that makes it impossible for her to sit the exam, the doctor, harbouring secrets from the past, must pull every corrupt string and curry favour in every way possible to ensure his daughter’s future…
“A five-star study of grubby bureaucratic compromise [and] a masterly, complex movie of psychological subtlety and moral weight… Graduation is an intricate, deeply intelligent film, and a bleak picture of a state of national depression in Romania, where the 90s generation hoped they would have a chance to start again. There are superb performances from Titien and Drăguş. It’s a jewel…”—Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Best Director, Cannes 16