Whitby Film Society
Graduation is a masterly, complex movie of psychological subtlety and moral weight about the shabby choices people make as they claw their way up. But how about the children, those innocent souls for whose sake all this grubbiness has been endured?
Dr Romeo Aldea lives with daughter Eliza and wife Magda in a tatty apartment on a grisly Ceausescu-era estate in the city of Cluj-Napoca in northwest Romania. The parents are intensely, almost desperately proud of Eliza who has the offer of a scholarship from a British university to study psychology after graduating from high school, conditional on top marks in her final exams. Eliza has a chance of getting out of Cluj that her parents could only dream of. On the day before her exams, Eliza is assaulted—an attempted, unsuccessful rape. She is physically alright, but in no condition to sit a public examination, still less get top marks. So Aldea has to call on a grisly system of favours and quiet words in friendly ears to see if his daughter can somehow be waived through. But any cheating has to happen with Eliza’s conscious participation.
Graduation is an intricate, deeply intelligent film, and a bleak picture of a state of national depression in Romania, where the 90s generation hoped they would have a chance to start again.
Doors open: 19.15
Light refreshments available