Young winners of various contests from across the country are awarded with a cruise on the Danube. This becomes an opportunity to expose the dynamics of ideology, as the youngsters are constantly subjected to educational pressures, which they in turn eschew through irony and cunning. Originally meant as a reward, the cruise ends up being a punishment, a sadly unacknowledged act of coercion. Surprisingly, given the harsh censorship at the time, The Cruise has the strongest and clearest anti-totalitarian message of all the Romanian productions made under Communism, featuring a Party activist who is an aggressive impostor, presented unmistakably as a villain. Subversive, hilarious, and a highly incisive X-ray of an entire generation, Cristi Puiu’s favorite film of Daneliuc’s is the most Altman-esque film ever made in Romania.