Occident (West) (2002)

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Directed by Cristia Mungiu), Occident is a bittersweet comedy that focuses on the growing tendency of Eastern European youth to migrate west. When the amicable Luci (Alexandru Papadopol) and his beautiful lover Sorina (Anca Androne) are evicted from their apartment, Sorina decides they must visit her father's grave and ask for a "sign". Seconds later, Luci is hit in the head by a bottle and taken to the hospital by a Frenchman. Despite her love for Luci, Sorina believes a life with security takes precedence over romance, and moves in with the good samaritan. Meanwhile, a jilted bride (Tania Popa) and her mother (Coca Bloos) enlist the help of of a private angency to find a proper husband for her, but the wealthy Italian man they select has more than a couple of undesirable traits. Later, Michaela's (Popa) father, a police captain, finds out that Luci's cousin is dead, prompting him to rememember when the two boys fled from Romania by swimming across the Danube on an inflatable doll. The cousin had made it across, but Luci had been arrested and thrown into prison. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi

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