Ryna

A beautiful teenager, raised as a boy because her mechanic father was obsessed with having a son, struggles to find her own identity in Ruxandra Zenide's unforgettable festival hit. Despite her enforced short hair and oil-stained clothes, Ryna's beauty is apparent. When her mother leaves, unable to tolerate any more of her husband's abuse, Ryna defies her father and wears ...more

A beautiful teenager, raised as a boy because her mechanic father was obsessed with having a son, struggles to find her own identity in Ruxandra Zenide's unforgettable festival hit. Despite her enforced short hair and oil-stained clothes, Ryna's beauty is apparent. When her mother leaves, unable to tolerate any more of her husband's abuse, Ryna defies her father and wears a dress to the town fair. This simple act of independence triggers a series of events that lead to a tragic end; and a fateful choice for Ryna.

Movie Details

  • Tomatometer
    62%
  • Director(s) Ruxandra Zenide
  • Starring Doroteea Petre, Valentine Popescu, Matthieu Roze
  • Language(s) French, Romanian
  • Subtitle(s) English
  • Released January 01, 2005
  • Genre
  • Run Time 92 minutes
  • Rating NR

BIGSTAR Review

"It's a flower, Grandad. Rhubarb is a bitter flower." ~RYNA (Dorotheea Petre), to her global-warming-conscience grandfather, on what the tasty ingredient in his morning bread actually is. In essence, she is also describing herself, in what proves a crescendo of the definitive scene which no doubt helped her win 4 *Best Actress* festival awards: the 2005 Transylvania International Film Festival, 2005 Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival, 2007 Romanian Union of Filmmakers and a 2007 Gopo Award, respectively.

A film that not only showered its title star with accolades, but its director Ruxandra Zenide as well (the coveted *Golden Moon of Valencia* Award at the 2006 Cinema Jove -Valencia International Film Festival comes to mind, as does the *Lycéens Jury Prize* at the 2006 Annonay International Festival of First Films), this is a gutty foreign companion piece to motion pictures such as 1999's BOYS DON'T CRY and more recently 2011's PARIAH. With RYNA, we've a young Romanian 16-year-old girl suppressed into living life like a boy, all in the name of appeasing her car mechanic father, Biris (Valentin Popescu, also nominated here for a 2007 Gopo Award ), who resents her for not being the son he always wanted. The fact of the matter is, Biris feels he NEEDS a son; a cohort to his shady business. Ryna has been trained by the ultimate bully father (to borrow from Dickens, an almost Fagin-istic brute) in the art of auto repair scamming. A former fisherman, Biris has spent the last 10 years trying to improve his business stature, but it's costing him both his wife and his daughter, who are resenting him in return for morphing into this controlling beast. As Ryna is blossoming into this lovely creature, different factions start pining for her affection; the local mail courier who is closest to her age, the thirtysomething pediatrician who's visiting from France, and Mayor Pescu, a man of her father's age, whose pedophilic vibes are shamelessly at the forefront. Biris has his own way of keeping the situation under control: terrifyingly threaten the mail delivery kid so bad, he peddles away on his bicycle; keep the Doctor around long enough so Ryna can sabotage his car at night, which results in him returning and spending even more; every few weeks have Ryna sit topless outside on a log and shave her head, so she doesn't appear (or even feel) feminine at all. As far as the Mayor, however, his advances aren't so easily dissuaded. This film drips with prime examples of men abusing power in a small European village, trying to hold onto fabricated ideals so far fetched from their realities, that only disappointment will be their reward, and a consolation prize of tragedy given to those around them.

With a budget of €1,000,000, this film was made in painstaking detail to the social situations and economic classes of those who lived around the Danube Delta. Including a *Best Editing* nomination for Ion Ioachim Stroe at the 2007 Gopo Awards, this film has effective use of outside shots, dusty, rustic close-ups, and a beating heart that will break yours. RYNA is truly one of our finest European festival films here on BIGSTAR. Enjoy.

-Steve

Ratings

  • Cinematography & Editing
  • Musical Score & Sound
  • Stories & Script
  • Acting
  • Directing
82
Overall BIGSTAR Score.
Scores range from 10-100
BIGSTAR Approved!

Movie Photos