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A production still from Graduation.

Courtesy of TIFF

Directed by
Cristian Mungiu
Country
Romania

The Vancouver International Film Festival, now in its 35th year, is featuring some of the best filmmakers from Canada and around the world in venues across the city through to Oct. 14. The Globe and Mail is highlighting a must-see film every day.

In 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, his award-winning drama about a young woman trying to get an abortion in Ceausescu's Romania, director Cristian Mungiu exposed the human failings of a communist society; in this new feature, he moves to the present but is no less dastardly in his indictment as he ensnares his moral protagonist in ever-deepening compromises. Romeo is a disillusioned doctor determined his daughter will win a scholarship to Cambridge and her ticket to a better life in Britain; when she is attacked in the street the day before her final exams, he engages in increasingly dubious bartering of favours to ensure her distracted performance won't scupper her chances. The plot depends on an improbably interdependent set of acquaintances and events, but the cinematography, the dialogue and the performances, especially Adrian Titieni's as an earnest and anxious Mr. Fix-It, are impressively naturalistic.

Sept. 30, 1:15 p.m., International Village 10; Oct. 5, 8:30 p.m., The Centre; Oct. 11, 3:15 p.m., Vancouver Playhouse

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