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Two films from Romanian realist director Cristian Mungiu get Criterion releases

Two films from Romanian realist director Cristian Mungiu get Criterion releases
Maria-Victoria Dragus and Adrian Titieni in the film "Graduation." (Sundance Selects)

The gifted Romanian director Cristian Mungiu ("4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days") makes grimly powerful, impeccably acted realist thrillers about a society that, in thrall to rigid tradition and run-of-the-mill corruption, is slowly failing its own.

"Beyond the Hills," released in 2013 in U.S. theaters, is a tense, slow-burning tragedy set in a remote Moldovan monastery, where a reunion takes place between two orphaned young women: one devoted to her life of faith, the other desperate to get her out of it.

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Mungiu followed that picture with the even more accomplished "Graduation," in which a father's love for his daughter spurs him to act against his conscience; it won the National Society of Film Critics' award for best foreign-language film of 2017. Both movies will be available May 22 from Criterion Collection on Blu-ray and DVD.

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