Romeo (Titieni) hopes that his daughter Eliza (Dragus) will leave their provincial town and go study in Britain, but first she needs to pass her final high school exams. The day before the exams she is assaulted. Shaken up and injured, she cannot perform at her best. In a society that runs on corruption, Romeo believes himself a decent man. But now he faces a difficult decision: to stay true to his values or game the system to ensure her future.
Working in a drab color palette to reflect a world of stultifying bureaucracy, Mungiu has created a compelling tale about a man of principle forced to sacrifice his ideals for someone he loves . Titieni and Dragus exhibit a slightly awkward father/daughter dynamic that suggests unresolved issues, but his love for her is never in doubt. Absorbing and all-too-real, “Graduation” makes us consider how far we’d go to help those we love most.