A young kindergarten teacher decides to immigrate to Italy. Her mother (Luminiţa Gheorghiu) supports her in her search for the Western dream, but her estranged father is rather worried by Italian xenophobia. Her friends have mixed feelings about her chances abroad and her boyfriend seems to have problems with some dubious gangsters. Her name is Francesca and she is the lead character of Bobby Păunescu's debut feature. Francesca has uncertain feelings ranging from confusion to determination and from doubt to hope, all of them discretely played by Monica Barladeanu who, to her credit, proves she is much more than a pretty face. Apart from the distance, discretion is also fundamental to Păunescu's directorial approach to a very hot and uncomfortable topic: Romanian emigration. The distance between the viewer and Francesca last days in Bucharest leaves room for all the big questions and issues the movie only hints at: the risks, the hopes, the planning and the motivations that might lead one regular middle-class Romanian woman to emigrate.
Unlike most of his contemporary Romanian counterparts, Păunescu does not search for and does not highlight the sordidness of everyday life. The "bad things" are there, in the background of Francesca's struggle to leave the country and help her boyfriend Miţă (Dorian Boguţă) with the money he owes to the slick and threatening Remus (Mihai Dorobanţu) and his merry gang. Păunescu's movie certainly has its thriller-like moments and the sharply cold direction helps the build-up of dramatic suspense.