Nina | Chicago Reader

Nina

This 2004 Crime and Punishment set in contemporary Sao Paulo with a goth girl as the protagonist is as morally and psychologically unfocused as she is. Nina quits her waitressing job in a huff, but though threatened with eviction refuses a friend's help. Her grotesque elderly landlady plays sadistic games with her—she has to scrub the old woman's apartment to pay her phone bill—and Nina responds in kind, albeit covertly. Some fine scenes in dance clubs break the mostly lugubrious rhythm with rapid cutting and amusing incidents, but otherwise Heitor Dhalia's first feature doesn't have much of a point. In Portuguese with subtitles. 85 min. Also on the program: Carlos Cuaron's short Child's Play (2002, 5 min.), in which a rebellious teen gets a horrifying glimpse of an abusive relationship. In Spanish with subtitles.

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