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16 year old Ryna is the daughter of a poor Romanian who runs a gas station in a small community in the Danube delta. Ryna has been brought up like a boy because her father had longed for a son. The film is about strong family ties, about gender identity, and about a despotic father slowly losing his grip. But, it is also about poverty, social suppression and the abuse of power. Ryna shows the awakening of a young girl's soul and the pain that goes with it. Caught between traditional values and materialistic dreams, in the end Ryna pays a heavy price in order to assert her own identity.Written by
A metaphor for the young post-communist Romanian democracy
Young Ryna is, in my opinion, a metaphor for the young democracy in post-communist Romania.
The reason I'm saying this is based on the following: - The action takes place in a remote forgotten town a the far-est corner of Romania. Similarly, Romania was/is, from a western point of view, a little known country in the eastern corner of Europe - At the micro level, Biris family is struggling to make their incipient free-enterprise business work, while at the macro level Romania was going through similar pains in the new free-market economy. - The old generation, still indoctrinated by communism, opposing to the new, is represented by the strict father, who wants her daughter to be something else than what she actually is constantly blocking her dreams, aspirations and initiatives. - the initial foreign investments in Romania are represented by the innocent flirtation between the Frenchman and young Ryna. - but foreign companies were seen with suspicion and often greeted by old school mobs with slogans like "We will not sell-off our country", being blamed and accused of vicious interests. Similarly, the Frenchman is the first suspect in the rape of young Ryna - the real rapists of the young Romania were in fact the same old communist leaders, represented here by the mayor of the forgotten town, who is the real rapist of the young and naive Ryna.
It is sad to see how hope and dreams are so abruptly and viciously terminated. Both at the micro and macro level. It is sad to see how the rape is accepted and goes unpunished. Both at the micro and macro level.
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