Ryna | Chicago Reader

Ryna

This Romanian coming-of-age drama (2005) culminates in an act of violence, but that's nothing compared to an early scene in which the teenage heroine (Dorotheea Petre) glumly submits to a crew cut from her deeply misogynistic father (Valentin Popescu). Surrounded by men, clad in greasy coveralls, and trained from childhood to repair autos at her father's tiny filling station, she's so divorced from her gender she isn't sure how to feel about the sexual interest expressed by three different characters (an insecure postman, a visiting scholar, and the imperious mayor of her small town). Written and directed by Ruxandra Zenide, the film moves slowly and unemphatically, but when it's over the sense of a fragile personality absorbing waves of casual aggression is hard to shake. In French and Romanian with subtitles. 93 min.

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