Rhythm of the Saints | Chicago Reader

Rhythm of the Saints

Sarah Rogacki's feature debut is enhanced by playwright Cyn Canel Rossi's strong script, which deftly captures the slang and cadences of contemporary urban teenagers. Fifteen-year-old Rena (Daniella Alonso in a powerful, naturalistic performance) is sexually victimized by her mother's live-in lover. Afraid to confide in the parent, Rena spends as much time as possible away from home. When a girlfriend's aunt introduces her to the magical practices of Santeria, Rena and her pals earnestly attempt to put a hex on her abuser, with tragic results. While some of the ritual scenes seem contrived, the atmosphere of adolescent anguish is convincing. In Spanish with subtitles. 83 min.

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