Lana's Rain | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Lana's Rain 

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Columbia College grads Michael Ojeda and Joel Goodman make their feature debut with this harsh but moving drama. The title character, a young Balkan beauty (Oksana Orlenko), immigrates to America with her brother, a ruthless gangster named Darko (Nickolai Stoilov). Upon arriving in Chicago they lose their $20,000 savings, and Darko puts his sister on the street turning tricks. There's a creaky romantic subplot involving Lana and a sweet Chinese sculptor (Louyong Wang), but otherwise Ojeda's script sticks to the bleak world of eastern European refugees in Chicago. A story of violent men told from a woman's perspective, the movie hinges on Orlenko, a Ukrainian model-actress making her American feature debut, and she delivers a sterling performance. In English and subtitled Croatian. R, 107 min. A 35-millimeter print will be shown; Ojeda, who also directed, and Orlenko will attend both screenings, joined at Columbia by Stoilov and producer Goodman. Previews at Gene Siskel Film Center and Columbia College Ludington Building; opens at the Music Box on February 27.

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