Our new 'Sweet-Movie-Bla-Collaborator' Rebecca Shouddt talks about the movies she watched at The 11th Brazilian Film Festival of New York this week. We are gonna post it all here! #Cheers&ThankURebecca! #Inffinito #BrazilianFilmFestival #TribecaCinemas
Rânia is a beautifully melancholic film about a teenage girl who longs for more than what life can offer in the hillside slum Fortaleza. It is the all too common story of a young woman trying to escape the confines of poverty. However, Rânia has a real talent and fire to succeed that can propel her into a new world. But, will she take this leap into the unknown, or succumb to family pressures and to that which feels “safe”? This film takes us through Rânia's daily life. At home, her mother wears an expression of disillusion as Rânia helps her with endless monotonous chores and looks after her brother. Rânia seeks refuge in dance, studying daily at school and subsequently earning a place with a dance company newly formed by choreographer, Estela, who has just moved into town. At the same time, lured by the chance to make money now, Rânia follows in the footsteps of her best friend Ziti and begins working in a local bar as an exotic dancer. It is not long before the different facets of Rânia's life begin to come into conflict with one another and ultimately choices must be made by her as she is presented with the opportunity to travel with Estela’s dance company to New York.
Throughout the film the sea plays a major role, as the movie seemingly sways calmly to the rhythms of the tide. Rânia and Ziti often swim in the sea together, flowing freely in its vastness, and the bar they work in is aptly named “Mermaid of the Night.” It is also at the sea where Rânia first meets Estela who will soon open a new world to her; and not knowing yet who Estela is Rânia is most impressed by the fearless way in which she jumps into the sea. And then there is her father: a fisherman who left his family yet does not understand his daughter's wish to follow her own dreams. The sea talks to Rânia and in the end we are left to wonder if she succumbs to its placidity or if she will break free.
The film's protagonist is an interesting character full of layered dimension, with an emotion that is raw and at the same time stifled. Filmed by director Roberta Marques, the role of Rânia was played by Graziela Felix; interestingly a young woman with no prior acting experience. To compensate for her lack of experience Marques allowed for a certain level of improvisation with the script so that Felix would be more at ease acting amongst a cast of seasoned veterans. The on-screen result is a hauntingly realistic portrayal of a young girl conflicted and finding her own way.