7:30 PM, 30th August, 2017
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE EMBASSY OF ROMANIA
Dr. Roman Aldea lives in a grim-looking block of apartments in Cluj, Romania, with his librarian wife, and his pretty, intelligent daughter, Eliza. Eliza is about to take her vital graduation exams and a scholarship to Cambridge is only a confirmation away. On the morning of the exam, however, Eliza is assaulted, robbed and almost raped. In fighting off her attacker, she breaks her wrist and fears that she will be unable to properly write her exams.
Aldea is fanatical about wanting his daughter to get out of the country he’s come to hate, and to make a life for herself in the West. Everyone has an agenda, and every character is redeemable in some manner, but no one is innocent. Strip away the differences between their Romanian culture and our own, and the film boils down to a father doing what’s best for his daughter.
Director Cristian Mungiu’s sympathy for all his characters forces us to recognise that everyone, no matter how corrupt or self-serving, is just trying to make the best of the life they’re given. A masterful look at the complex moral choices and compromises some people make when desperation takes hold.