Graduation | Chicago Reader


128 minutes 2016

A doctor and his wife reel when their teenage daughter is assaulted by a strange man on the eve of her college entrance exam, and after her promising academic career is compromised by a low score, the father conspires to help her cheat on a repeat examination. Writer-director Cristian Mungiu was hailed as a leading light of the Romanian new wave for his 2007 drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, about a woman seeking an illegal abortion during the Ceausescu years, and Graduation shares with that movie a sense of how personal morality can be misshapen by the institutions of an immoral society. The doctor guards other secrets—a longtime affair with a single mother, a clandestine relationship with government agents spying on one of his patients—and Mungiu notes the various equivocations and rationalizations the protagonist uses to justify himself to himself. In Romanian with subtitles.

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