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Home page > Review > Rita (19 October 2010)

Rita by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza


If you can see Rita on screen, you’re probably not blind. Yet if the only thing on screen you see is Rita, you get a feeling of blindness. Eyes that do not see are not useless: they project and put into focus what lies behind them, like an intimate filter of a profound truth. This is most likely the reason why staring is such a difficult task, the flow of information being just too overwhelming. Meanwhile, Rita’s unseeing eyes are impossible not to stare at, attracting you towards the intriguing unknown, an open diary that unleashes the inner voyeur - except you’re not looking through a window, but at a screen.

In Kiarostami’s Shirin, all we get to see are the facial expressions of women watching an ancient persian poem full of longing, lust and betrayal. So little is shown, yet much is revealed. In Rita, a girl’s childish eyes, stubbornness and sensitivity are guiding us through her surroundings, her imagination and her dreams.

In the film’s extremely limited space, everything that enters the frame is an intruder. A caressing hand easily turns into a threat, the collar her mother pins to her dress is immediately rejected. In the urge to free herself from that feeling, and at the same time free the audience from a claustrophobic experience, Rita wants to go swim in the sea.

Her wish is fulfilled, and our vision enlarged… With its strikingly beautiful concept and pure talent in storytelling, Rita is a must-see.

By Maximilien Van Aertryck

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