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Graduation (Bacalaureat)

Celebrated Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, who won the coveted Palme d'Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for the drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, collected the Best Director prize at last year's festival for this dysfunctional family portrait. Dr Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni) and his wife Magda (Lia Bugnar) live in a nondescript concrete apartment block with their teenage daughter, Eliza (Maria Dragus), who has been offered a scholarship to a UK university presuming she achieves the necessary grades. Romeo is desperate for his daughter to have a brighter future, outside of his homeland, and will stop at nothing to ensure she escapes the dark shadow cast by the Ceausescu years. Shortly before her final exams, Eliza is attacked and her right arm is put in a cast to heal. The assault shakes the youngster's confidence and Romeo fears his pride and joy might not be able to concentrate on her exams, through no fault of her own. So he abandons his moral compass and seeks advice from a friend, Ivanov (Vlad Ivanov), who suggests that the best way to secure Eliza's grades will be to move Deputy Mayor Bulai (Petre Ciubotaru) to the top of the liver transplant waiting list, above more deserving and critical patients.