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Graduation (2016)

Bacalaureat (original title)
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A film about compromises and the implications of the parent's role.

Director:

Cristian Mungiu

Writer:

Cristian Mungiu
10 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrian Titieni ... Romeo Aldea
Maria Dragus ... Eliza Aldea
Lia Bugnar ... Magda
Mãlina Manovici ... Sandra
Vlad Ivanov ... Chief Inspector
Gelu Colceag Gelu Colceag ... Exam Commitee President
Rares Andrici ... Marius
Petre Ciubotaru Petre Ciubotaru ... Vice-Mayor Bulai
Alexandra Davidescu Alexandra Davidescu ... Romeo's mother
Emanuel Parvu ... Prosecutor Ivascu
Lucian Ifrim ... Albu Marian
Gheorghe Ifrim Gheorghe Ifrim ... Agent Sandu (as Gigi Ifrim)
Adrian Vancica Adrian Vancica ... Gelu
Orsolya Moldován Orsolya Moldován ... Csilla
Tudor Smoleanu Tudor Smoleanu ... Doctor Pandele
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Storyline

Romeo Aldea (49), a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding - Eliza has won a scholarship to study psychology in the UK. She just has to pass her final exams - a formality for such a good student. On the day before her first written exam, Eliza is assaulted in an attack that could jeopardize her entire future. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the situation, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter. Written by 69th Cannes International Film Festival 2016

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Effortless, Subtle and Insidiously Naturalistic. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official Site [Japan] | See more »

Country:

Romania | France | Belgium

Language:

Romanian

Release Date:

20 May 2016 (Romania) See more »

Also Known As:

Graduation See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,305, 7 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$175,975, 9 June 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Canal+,Ciné+,Eurimages See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character, Romeo, appears in every scene. See more »

Quotes

Romeo: Eliza, you have to do your best. It'd be a pity to miss this chance. Some important steps in life depend on small things. And some chances shouldn't be wasted. You know, in '91, your Mum and I decided to move back. It was a bad decision. We thought things would change, we thought we'd move mountains. We didn't move anything. I have no regrets, though. At least we tried...
See more »

Connections

References The Graduates (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Cold Song
Music by Henry Purcell
Performed by The Deller Consort
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Back-scratching as a way of life
25 December 2016 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

In order to let his daughter escape a corrupt country, the lead character in 'Bacalaureat' has to immerse himself in the corrupt system he despises. That's the central paradox and the moral dilemma in this film. Doctor Aldea, a surgeon in a small town in Romania, has one goal in his life: to let his daughter escape to 'civilisation'. This goal has come within reach when she is selected for a scholarship in Britain, provided she passes the exams with excellent results. When she is violently attacked a few days before the exams, there is a serious risk she won't pass the test. So the doctor decides to pull some strings.

But he has to cope with the moral consequences afterwards. Is the father still able to look his daughter in the eye, after having told her all her life that corruption is wrong? And what about his wife, who has made a point of never lowering her standards of integrity, and has paid for her righteousness with a low-paid and uninteresting job? Besides, how can he defend high moral standards when he is conducting an affair with a much younger woman? The doctor defends his moral integrity: the attack is an unforeseen emergency, and so exceptions to the rule are permitted. But does he believe so himself? Things are made more complicated because of his daughter's boyfriend, and her own doubts about the need to go to Britain.

The film looks at all sides of moral integrity, and doesn't offer straightforward solutions. In fact, a lot is left unanswered, as if the director wants to say that things are never very clear, and there is always room for doubt.

Apart from posing moral questions, the film also offers a fine view into modern Romanian society. 'You'll scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours' seems to be the national motto. The film offers little hope of improvement: the only character opposing this system is the doctor's wife. But she looks utterly depressed and, as the doctor points out, has only been able to keep her high moral standards because she could rely on his position.

Director Cristian Mungiu is able to weave the many different story lines nicely together, although some scenes don't seem to be related to the rest of the story. Probably he intentionally doesn't want to spell everything out. Life itself is sometimes ambiguous, so why shouldn't a movie be?


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