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Mara came to the US 6 months ago as a nurse. She was “lucky“ and married Daniel, one of her patients, before her visa ran out. Now she “just“ has to convince the immigration authorities that she didn‘t just marry him for the greencard.


In her debut film Romanian director Ioana Uricaru tells a US immigration story in a consistent and confident way. LEMONADE primarily deals with the first, often tough beginnings, the hardships and humiliations that one has to put up with before the yearned for greencard opens a new future to you, the price that every generation of immigrants have to pay. The setting is generic, a colorless America of transit dreams. The authorities, hospitals, depressing apartment, and school seem interchangeable, it could look like this anywhere and nowhere. But the protagonist is drawn all the more exactingly: Mara came to the US six months ago to work as a nurse. She had the “luck“ of married Daniel, one of her patients, shortly before her visa ran out. Now she “just“ has to convince the immigration offices that she didn‘t just marry to get a greencard. Immigration officer Moji, who seems somewhat friendly at first, uses her vulnerable position, corners her with his question, and demands sexual favors. But that‘s just the tip of the iceberg. Uricaru, who also immigrated to the US, captures the helplessness of Mara‘s position in smaller ways as well. There‘s a moment where Mara goes to the living room and sees Daniel showing his gun to her 8 year old son Dragos. You see her face and know that normally a woman like Mara would intervene. But Mara says nothing. She can‘t ruin things, neither with the husband nor the authorities, she has to withhold some parts of the truth from Dragos and swallow her justified anger again and again. But Mara is also tough. She will master the challenge and fight for her future.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Rumänien/ Kanada/ Deutschland/ Schweden 2018, 88 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Ioana Uricaru
Author: Ioana Uricaru, Tatiana Ionașcu
DOP: Friede Clausz
Montage: Mircea Olteanu
Music: Oliver Alary
Distributor: déjà-vu Filmverleih
Cast: Mălina Manovici, Steve Bacic, Dylan Scott Smith, Milan Hurduc
Release: 04.10.2018


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