Ryna, A Film By Ruxandra Zenide

Color photo©2000-07 OutNow.CH: Dorotheea Petre in RynaB&W photo©2000-07 OutNow.CH: Ruxandra Zenide

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A Pacific Films/Strada Film/Elefant Films/TSR co-production. Produced by Eric Garoyan, Xavier Ruiz, Catalin Mitulescu.
Directed by Ruxandra Zenide. Screenplay: Marek Epstein, Andreea Valean.
Ryna: Dorotheea Petre
Father: Valentin Popescu
Grandfather: Nicolae Praida

"In a grubby Romanian backwater on the Danube delta, 16-year-old Ryna pumps gas and works as a mechanic for her hard-drinking, slave-driving dad. She's adept at repairing motors, soldering metal and driving trucks. Over her mother's ineffectual protests, she's forced by her father to wear overalls and crop her hair – to live as a boy and work like a horse. But she finds a way to steal time for her hobby, photography, as well as clandestine meetings with a lovelorn mailboy. Every night she drives to town to drag her drunken father home from the local bar. Old beyond her years, marked by the poverty and hardship of her life, she is the one who keeps her family under control."(www.variety.com) "Ryna has survived the poverty and hardship of her upbringing by developing a passion for photography and a free spirit that enchants the corrupt mayor, the genial postman and a visiting French anthropologist."David Parkinson(www.bbc.co.uk) "This is a film ripe with potent symbolism. It is no accident that Ryna's place of birth is a small town in the Delta where the river pours into the sea, fulfilling a cycle destined never to change. Ryna lives in a place where everyone longs for wealth that is ever out of grasp. It is a lost country where old customs die hard, and new dreams wither in the shadow of shabby values, an emotional island framed by ceaseless poverty and governed by abusive parental power. Ryna is a film rife with rich metaphor. There are the ancient cycles of the Delta, of rippling muddy waters that mimic the rising and waning rhythms of life. There are time-honored traditions that will never change. There is the nurturing rain of a wild storm, bringing with it hope for new life. Always there is the specter of desire… and the drives and yearnings that define the male and female persona. Skillful direction, a magical camera, and a charismatic cast bring Ryna's world to dramatic life."(www.pointcontact.org) "Austere but sensitive and soulful character-study of unusual teenager in unusual, water-all-round locale (both looking great on Marius Panduru's camera)."Neil Young(www.jigsawlounge.co.uk) AwardsTromso, Tromso TIFF, Don Quijote Prize 2006 Milan, Milano Sguardi altrove, Premio Nuovi Sguardi 2006 Annonay, Festival du 1er film, Prix du Jury Lycéen 2006 Annonay, Festival du 1er film, Prix du Public 2006 Geneva, Cinéma Tout Écran, FIPRESCI International Critic Prize 2005 Bordeaux, Cinéma féminin, Prix du meilleur film 2005 Geneva, Cinéma Tout Écran, Reflet d'Or pour le meilleur film 2005 Mannheim-Heidelberg, Filmfestival, Special Award of the Jury 2005 Mannheim-Heidelberg, Filmfestival, Special Award of the Jury (main actress) 2005 Cottbus, Cottbus Film Festival, Spezialpreis der Jury 2005
Born in 1975 in Bucharest, Romania, Ruxandra Zenide received a degree from the Hautes Études Internationales Institute in Geneva. She has also worked on short films such as Shoot Me, The Hole (1999), The Waiting Room (2001), Dust (2002), Green Oaks (2003). (www.icr-london.co.uk)"It treats feminine topics and the women in this film are a little bit suppressed by men. But I don't think it's a feminist film. It's a story about a particular rural region where women aren't as emancipated as in the big city and I wanted to portray this realistically. For me it's a story about a strong girl so it has a feminine sensitivity. I am very happy about the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s but I think now it's time to get together in equal positions."(Excerpt from an interview at www.outnow.ch) 

by Plural magazine