The Graduation of his daughter Eliza is an obsession for Romeo: he is ready to sacrifice everything for her to go to England to study and find a better life.
Assaulted on the eve of taking her graduation, Eliza is traumatized and feels it will be difficult for her to secure the distinction, a precious door-opener to continue her studies in England. But “some things in life take to almost nothing and some opportunities are not to be missed”. All means are they good for a life-giving distinction? Lesson of corruption by Cristian Mungiu.
Save his daughter through studies
Romeo (Adrian Titieni) is a doctor in a small town in Transylvania. Lacking support from his wife Magda (Lia Bugnar) washed-out and remote, Romeo is a disillusioned man, worn by the previous brutal regimes and widespread poverty. He is dedicated to his daughter Eliza (Maria Dragus), a gifted high school student, for her to be saved by the studies and thus know a better fate than his. If she gets an average of 18 to her graduation, she’ll won a scholarship that will allow her to leave Romania, considered uninspiring, to study psychology at the Cambridge University. On the eve of the graduation, Romeo, in a hurry to join his mistress Sandra (Mina Minovici), drops off his daughter a short walk from her school. Alas, the teenager is assaulted on the way in a construction site. She gets away with a casted wrist that prevents her from properly using the right hand, and traumatized, she lost her concentration. Therefore, Romeo’s entire life will be called into question.
The baccalaureate against a liver
Forgetting the principles he instilled in his daughter, he turnes to the black market of “services”, according to a lifestyle that seems natural, adopted by everyone in Romania. If Romeo provides him with a new liver, an influential man will intervene with someone who will corrupt the copies corrector. Romeo decides that the end justifies the means, but little by little, he is caught in the mechanics of a thriller, a spiral that leads him into a labyrinthine mess.
Cristian Mungiu instills fear over the plans sequences of this intelligent and strong study on the difficulties of parenting skills, fragility and relativity of truth and the facilities of a compromise in today’s Romania where success seems contaminated.
Back to competition
Revealed at the 2002 Director’s Fortnight by his first film Occident, Cristian Mungiu has become a regular in Cannes. In 2007, his second feature 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is crowned with a Palme d’Or.
In 2012, Beyond the Hills earned him the Screenplay Award and Best Actress prize for Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur. His third film, Tales from the Golden Age, is not in competition in 2013 because the Romanian director was a member of the Feature Film Jury, chaired by Steven Spielberg. In 2016, it was natural that Mungiu finds its place competition at Cannes with Graduation.
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Graduation Red Carpet
Xavier Dolan’s Juste de la Fin du Monde Red Carpet