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THE HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD

Director: RADU JUDE

100 minutes| Romania-Netherlands| 2009| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema


When provincial high-school student Delia scoops a new car in a soft drinks competition, she thinks she’s made it, but life in modern Romania isn’t quite so simple, as Radu Jude’s wry comedy-drama reminds us.

Unfolding over a single day as a hassled commercials crew film a 35-second TV slot with the inexperienced teenage prize-winner and the sponsors looking over their shoulder, this is a witty look at the unglamorous nuts and bolts of screen magic. It’s also a warm-hearted, trenchant look at a society in transition, since the parents who’ve slaved through the Ceausescu years to support their only daughter now want to sell the shiny new hatchback to finance a countryside B&B. Trouble is that Andreea Bosneag’s doughty heroine already has her holidays planned and is far from keen to give up the car. ‘Life is disappointing and youth will pass’, sighs dad, echoing Ozu-esque sentiments in this small-scale but deftly-pointed affair. (Notes by Trevor Johnston)

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