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Past Films

Graduation (In Translation Series)

  • Starring: Adrian Titieni, Maria-Victoria Dragus, Lia Bugnar
  • Director: Cristian Mungiu
  • Genre(s): Drama, Crime
  • Language(s): Romanian
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 128 min.

This film is part of our In Translation series of recent foreign language films of note.

Original Title: Bacalaureat
Film Synopsis: Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) is a seemingly honest doctor who regrets having settled in his native Romania, a country still teeming with corruption and back dealings. He channels his ambitions for a better life into his teenage daughter, Eliza (Maria Dragus), who’s just one exam away from securing a scholarship to a prestigious British university. But when Eliza is attacked on the eve of her test, endangering her ability to pass, Romeo takes matters into his own hands to ensure her success. [Sundance Selects]

"A thoroughgoing masterpiece which offers proof that Romania's cinematic upsurge remains the most vital and important national film movement of the current century."
- Godfrey Cheshire,
"While it is shot in near-documentary form amid authentically grim locales, the movie is an exquisitely plotted, jarringly presented moral puzzle."
- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The acting is outstanding; Mungiu's straightforward dialogue and naturalistic shooting make for a movie that feels genuine, with no false steps."
- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"It's consistently absorbing and well-acted, and Mungiu's camera makes even simple police station interrogations or drive-around sequences unassuming things of beauty."
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"In Graduation, Mungiu takes a scalpel and dissects life in modern Romania."
- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Bleak, naturalistic and flawlessly acted, "Graduation" distills the mood and moral decay of a place whose gray skies and nondescript housing blocks feel like permanent reminders of its dark history."
- Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
"The power of the film is cumulative, as the filmmaker spins a mesmerizing morality tale from the dross of daily life. In his skillful hands, the ordinary turns out to be anything but."
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post