“People usually want to be special, but you’ll never be normal.”
Monica Stan and George Chiper’s directorial debut is Immaculate, the Romanian film submitted for International Feature. It starts out with an 18 year old Daria being admitted to a rehab centre by her mother. She’s been using heroin, almost two to three bags daily, and her mother wants her to get clean so that she can return to school and complete her graduation exams. Daria’s boyfriend, Vlad, introduced her to heroin and he’s now in jail serving a four year sentence. Daria’s sentence is four weeks in the facility.
When the male inhabitants in the rehab centre notice the new girl they are immediately drawn to her. They want to touch her, they want to smell her, they want to control her.
She welcomes the attention at first, but that quickly changes when it begins to be unwelcomed.
Stan and Chiper have created a clever film that is disguised as an addiction rehab story, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a portrayal about how men can constantly abuse women in many different ways. It can come from moments when Daria is forced to cuddle with a patient, or is forced to eat chocolate when she doesn’t want to, or is tickled aggressively during what started out as a fun game. It’s the boundaries that are crossed when the “nice” actions aren’t wanted by an individual.
As one patient says to Daria: “We’re like two drops of water. You’re clear. I’m muddy.” Despite being a heroin addict, Daria is shown as purity. Daria is innocence. One of the few moments in the film that allows you to breathe is when Daria is trying to encourage a scared man not to do drugs when he lives the facility. She wants to form a camaraderie with him. She wants him to do better. So when Daria is finally able to walk out the rehab doors for the first time in four weeks, we can only hope that she is able to live the life she wants to live: sober, unrestrained, and free from abuse. We hope that Daria will be immaculate.