Paulina lives and works in a small hotel in a northern Russian town with her friend Nadia when a mysterious guest arrives. “Rio,” directed by Zhenia Kazankina, is a quiet but vivid portrait of isolation that paints its wintry grey setting underneath pops of style and streaks of playfulness. (A poolside dance routine is particularly memorable). The young women spend their days attending to the hotel, listening to CD’s, learning basic language lessons on a cheap electronic device, or erupting into girlish spats. One day, a stranger arrives and Paulina becomes intrigued by him. What’s a young man doing here in the middle of nowhere? How long will he stay? As she hovers over the questions, she begins to dream of some fresh excitement. -KA.
Written & Directed by Zhenia Kazankina. Cast: Liza Yankovskaya, Dasha Mureeva, Stephen Ochsner. Cinematographer: Luda Kuropiatnikova. Production Designer: Alyona Nebroeva. Costume Designer: Goar Igitian. Executive Producer: Dasha Dikarkina. Sound Designer & Re-recording Mixer: Pavel Ambarnov. Composer: Monika Mia. Sound Recordist: Olga Lopina. Sound & Dialogue Editor: Daria Badyanova.