Mara, a nurse from Romania, got married whilst on a working visit to the USA. Together with her husband Daniel, whom she met as a patient, she is now waiting for her Green Card. She has already brought to the States her little son Dragos from a previous relationship. However, the naturalisation process is proving to be difficult and Mara increasingly begins to realise that the America she imagined has little to do with the reality. After the immigration officer responsible for her case exploits her plight, the situation seems almost hopeless. ‘Even the people who hate the United States want to live here’ is a statement the heroine of this film hears again and again, and her own experiences are characterised by a similar ambivalence.
Based on real events, Ioana Uricaru’s first feature film addresses themes such as mental attitude, corruption and patriotism. Mălina Manovici is sensitive and convincing in the role of Mara who, despite all of her adversities, remains convinced that: ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.’
by Ioana Uricaru
with Mălina Manovici, Steve Bacic, Dylan Scott Smith, Milan Hurduc, Ruxandra Maniu
Romania / Canada / Germany / Sweden 2018 English, Romanian 88’ Colour World premiere


  • Mălina Manovici (Mara)
  • Steve Bacic (Moji)
  • Dylan Scott Smith (Daniel)
  • Milan Hurduc (Dragos)
  • Ruxandra Maniu (Aniko)


Director Ioana Uricaru
Screenplay Ioana Uricaru, Tatiana Ionașcu
Cinematography Friede Clausz
Editing Mircea Olteanu
Music Oliver Alary
Sound Design Kai Tebbel
Sound Mixing Olaf Mehl
Production Design Sylvain Lemaitre
Costumes Jenn Pocobene, Dana Paparuz
Make-Up Julie Brisebois
Casting Rosina Bucci, Catalin Dordea, Nadia Rona
Assistant Director Michel Marrec
Production Manager Patricia Bergeron
Line Producer Tudor Reu
Co-Producers Yanick Létourneau, Eike Goreczka, Christoph Kukula, Sean Wheelan, Anthony Muir
Co-Production Peripheria Montreal
42film Halle (Saale)
Filmgate Films Göteborg
Film i Väst Trolhättan
Producer Cristian Mungiu

Produced by

Mobra Films

Ioana Uricaru

Born and raised in Romania, she studied biology before turning to film. She graduated with a masters in film and television production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts in California, followed by a PhD in critical studies at the same institution. She is an alumna of the 2008 Berlinale Talents and the 2009 Script Station. She has also participated in the Cinéfondation Residence in Cannes, the Sundance Directors Lab and the Torino Film Lab. In 2016 she received a fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin.

Filmography (selection)

2010 Stopover; short film 2011 Variations to a Portrait – Norman Manea in dialogue with Robert Boyers; documentary 2012 The Witness; short film 2018 Lemonade; Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018