Graduation (15)

Graduation (15)

Directed by Cristian Mungiu
Picturehouse, Liverpool
23rd May 2017

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is a searing indictment of deceit and lies in a film based in Romania, but applicable on a global scale, such is the World today.

Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) is perceived as a doctor who is honest and uncompromising, especially so given that he lives is a downtrodden district in a corrupt-ridden country.

But this is a fallacy. He is cheating on his wife Magda (Lia Bugnad), in having an affair with the much younger Sandra (Malina Manovici), and will go to any lengths – mainly illegally – to ensure that his daughter Eliza (Maria Dragus) secures the scholarship to go to Cambridge University, after her arm is injured and put in plaster following a sexual attack on her.

Having previously excelled in her exams, Eliza nevertheless needs to get high marks in her final high school test.

But her physical injury and mental torment due to the assault puts the outcome in jeopardy..

Graduation is filmed by Romanian writer/director Cristian Mungiu, in a neo-documentary style, particularly so during the scenes in the police station, where Aldea is in discussion with a police chief, an old friend of his. The comings and goings of people around the two of them is brilliantly enacted.

The film earned him a Best Director award at Cannes in 2016.

Upcoming films at Liverpool Picturehouse under the heading of Discover Tuesday (all screenings start at 6pm) are the Japanese film Harmonium directed by Koji Fukada (30 May); Kiki, directed by Sara Jordeno (6 June); Wilson, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by Craig Johnson (13 June); Suntan, directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (20 June); and Love is The Devil, starring Derek Jacobi as Francis Bacon. It is directed by John Maybury (27 June).

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