Radu Jude's feature "The Happiest Girl in the World", which enjoyed a wide festivals success around the world, is now presented at the 34th Cleveland International Film Festival, with the support of the Honorary Romanian Consulate in Cleveland.
If you were 17 and won a dream car and got to appear in a TV commercial, wouldn’t you be the HAPPIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD? Delia, a simple girl from the countryside, is the grand prizewinner of a contest set up by a juice company. As she and her parents make their way to the big city of Bucharest to claim her prize, she stares out the car window, harboring a schoolgirl’s dreams of a more cosmopolitan existence. All dressed up for the city, her family navigates through heavy traffic to the film crew’s location – and then reality starts setting in. The summer day is sweltering, the crew are crass and complicated urbanites, the sponsor’s rep is unhappy with Delia’s inability to swig the product fast enough, and there are endless takes of the same scene. Then it turns out her parents are scheming behind her back to sell off the car for cash before she can even drive it. This happy girl is part of a tragicomic tale from the new Romania, where old-school values of hard work and family ties bump up against the superficialities of modern Capitalism. (In Romanian with subtitles)