European Union Film Festival 2023
Screening Dates
  • November 25, 2023 6:30

“[Puts] guilt and accountability under a powerful microscope … [Pârvu’s film] is a complex weave of antagonistic forces.”

Ştefan Dobroiu, Cineuropa

The title of this intricately constructed, deftly directed drama refers to the game of pick-up sticks, in which one wrong move can create havoc. In Emanuel Pârvu’s clever sophomore feature, everything revolves around a necklace given as a birthday present to teenager Magda by her father Cristi. When Magda visits a hospital where her boyfriend, an aspiring magician, is doing tricks for young patients, she gives the necklace as a gift to a child who shares her birthday. Meanwhile Cristi, the quintessential controlling parent, starts wondering why the necklace has disappeared, not knowing of Magda’s kind gesture. Soon he is accusing a nurse of theft, insisting that she be fired, and threatening to scuttle a hospital fundraiser. As the misunderstandings mount, events begin to spiral out of control as Cristi grows ever more unreasonable.

In Romanian with English subtitles

Very much recalls the minimalist realism [and] free-floating camera of Romanian films like Poromboiu’s Police, Adjective and Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation, in which director Pârvu acted … [Mikado] unpicks its edifice of power, guilt, and complex causality to confident and largely satisfying effect.”

Jonathan Romney, Screen International