The march of New Romanian Cinema continues apace in this quietly gripping drama that steadily descends into a dog- eat-dog netherworld in which matter-of-fact exploitation and reflexive avarice are givens. Two years into a five-year prison sentence, Matilda is given a day pass to attend her mother’s funeral. In the 24 hours that follow, the camera tracks this determined and unsentimental woman as she relentlessly pursues her goal of finding the money she needs to skip the country for good. As single-minded as its protagonist, this brisk, hard-edged, and businesslike film bears many of the hallmarks of the new generation of talented Romanian filmmakers. With his first feature, Bogdan George Apetri deservedly joins their ranks.
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