Romania’s first lesbian film, a fresh take on a budding lesbian romance, and an exemplary, intelligent study of how class and other societal factors complicate grappling with one’s sexuality
R IS FOR ROMANIA
This is the first lesbian Romanian film, but it isn’t only interesting because of that. It’s a sexy, exciting and infuriating love story between a cynical big city film student who owns her lesbian identity and a shy young woman from the rural part of the country who is yet to come to terms with the intricacies of her sexuality. I’m the product of a couple with a similar disparity in their backgrounds, and while my parents are straight and a whole different story, I found the economic, class and societal disparity to be portrayed in a very effective way. There’s even a care package with home cooked meals that the small town girl receives from her parents and then awkwardly dismisses as a “sign of poverty”. These are such a big part of life for everyone who moves to the big city in Russia, that I almost cried from recognition and gratitude to the film’s crew. But there’s more! Inside the film is another one: the film student’s thesis about the simple everyday joys of a lesbian couple. And the women who play in it are the two lesbian women (and a real-life couple) who co-wrote the screenplay with the straight male director. So in addition to being an amazing film, it’s also a masterclass in how a majority creator can tackle minority issues with grace and respect: by collaborating with the minority creators.
Several Conversations About a Very Tall Girl
(Cateva conversatii despre o fata foarte inalta), 2018
Director: Bogdan Theodor Olteanu