Director Cristian Mungui (“4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”) is adept at excoriating the corruption and hypocrisy in her country, Romania. Her latest film portrays a desperate moment in the life of surgeon Romeo (Adrian Titieni), who cheats on his wife but refuses to take bribes. That is, until his daughter (Maria-Victoria Dragu) has a chance to leave the country, if only she can pass her school exams after she's been the victim of a violent crime.
The atmosphere of the movie is defined by threats of violence and a sustained tension. This gives the probing of the country's culture of exceptionalism—can the ends justify the means?—an extra poignancy.