"Ryna" (2005 release from Romania; 94 min.) brings the story of Ryna (played by newcomer Dorotheea Petre), a 16 yr. old girl who lives in an isolated area in rural Romania. Her dad, for reasons never explained, treats her as a boy, and requires that she stays boy-ish in her appearance (short hair, no skirts, etc.). Despite dad's restrictions, beautiful Ryna attracts plenty of attention from the local boys and men, all the way to the mayor of the village. Dad's business, a gas station and garage, is barely surviving (and does so by cutting corners every which way). One day dad gets the news that the village is refusing to renews his business license due to its out-of-the-way location, which would effectively put him out of business. Meanwhile, a French doctor has arrived in the village to conduct some EU-funded research. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Several comments: first and foremost, this is one tough father-daughter relationship drama. It breaks the heart to see the father (mis)treat his own daughter, without any love or apparent remorse or guilt. In that sense, kudos to Valentin Popescu in the thankless role of playing the dad. As you see him perform, it is hard to distinguish the unlikeable character from the brilliant performer. But the movie is carried on the shoulders of Dorotheea Petre, who absolutely will blow you away in the movie's title role. This was her very first starring role and I can't wait to see what other movies sh'e been in. Lastly, the movie does a great job in bringing us a sense of the isolation that exists still in many country-side communities in Eastern Europe. Lost of poverty, corruption and all-around tough environments to live in. This movie is MILES away from your standard Hollywood fare. But if you are in the mood for a quality foreign movie, you cannot go wrong with this. "Ryna" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!