TIFF 2017 Review: “Nina” (2017) ★★★★★

There is always a negative factor about being in a troubled marriage – it’s the child, regardless of its age, who suffers the most. When the separation process is smooth and friendly, then it’s fine. But when it’s not, then wait for a bigger problem, or maybe like in case of NINA, for a wake-up call.

Nina is a 12-year-old girl whose is an experienced swimmer. She has won three gold medals, two bronze, and now targets to win a silver. However, she will have to leave her dreams and talents aside due to being distracted by the divorce of her parents, who find themselves at certain level where they no longer concentrate on their daughter but rather who can have her for one week and when. In the dangerous game of who is right and who is wrong, Nina quietly suffers alone not knowing how else to express her despair to show a sign of visibility in the madness created by adults…

Nina is a very intelligent girl. She studies well, avoids conflicts at school. In general, she is very reserved and dreams big. Her dream is to get as many medals in swimming as possible. She keeps watching TV to learn from the best. However, the same best human beings she could learn from are absent in her daily life. As per her parents’ agreement, one week she spends with her father, and another week with her Mum, who began a new life with another man named Peter, an Austrian fellow. However, through all these parade of emotions, constant scandals and fight for the right of Nina makes them forget about their little girl, who becomes more vulnerable every day.

Nina says to her father, “Please film me while I am swimming. I want to show it to my Mum.” That one scene in particular speaks volume when both of them will realize how far they went with limiting their daughter’s capability to stand for her dream. All what she needs though is constant training to grow into a professional athlete and make her parents proud. But the whole problem is that her parents are too busy fighting to each other and don’t realize that they have already produced the most admirable and beautiful gift any human being can wish for… And they start taking this happiness for granted for their own selfishness…

“NINA” is a powerful drama about ordinary people. They share the problems half the world has. Having drama in the family. Fights, arguments is a daily routine for them. However, there’s something more important in “NINA” other than that little and sweet family relationship. It’s about how one girl tries to do a little to stay happy. It’s her who means nothing bad and loves her parents dearly. She is not selfish and arrogant. She is the girl everyone would like to relate to.

This is why Juraj Lehotsky’s movie is so deeply moving, sad and real. There are many things you as a viewer can take away from it. But one lesson this movie provides is: every day is like an experience, good or bad, but it is. There are many things we all can be and maybe should worry about. But before getting that far, it’s always healthy to stop for a second and look around. Because making such a big distance, you may never be able to catch up with things that could make you much happier or comfortable than the one who you care about the most.

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