Geneva International Film Festival GIFF, Reflet d'Or pour le meilleur film 2005
CH/Romania 2005 93'
Director: Ruxandra Zenide
Script: Marek Epstein, Ruxandra Zenide
Camera: Marius Panduru
Sound: Sebastian Zsemjye
Art Direction: Daniel Raduta
Editing: Jean-Paul Cardinaux, Ioachim Stroe
Production: Pacific Films Sàrl, Strada Film, Tarantula Suisse SA
With: Dorotheea Petre, Matthieu Rozé
Elefant Films RYNA
NZZ Kritik RYNA
Le Temps: RYNA, miracle suisse en Roumanie
Les miracles de Ruxandra Zenide
16-year-old Ryna is the daughter of a poor Rumanian who runs a gas station in a small community on the Donau. Ryna has been brought up as a boy because her father had longed for a son. Zenide’s film is about strong family ties, about a daughter’s search for her mother, and about a despotic father slowly losing his grip, but also about poverty, social suppression and the abuse of power by those who rule under the guise of a false freedom. Ryna shows the awakening of a young girl’s soul and the pain that goes with it. Caught between traditional values and materialistic dreams, Ryna finally pays a high price in order to preserve her identity.
"Zenide shows a steady hand directing a varied cast, which includes a kindly but senile grandfather (Nicolae Praida) and a good-hearted doctor and his wife. Her focus is always on Petre, however, whose sensual, impish face looks stylish and mischievous even in her rough work clothes. Not surprisingly, her perf won debut kudos at the Transylvania film fest in Cluj early this year."
"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."