Rythm of the Saints


Bottom 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2003 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Sarita Choudhury, Daniella Alonso, Ryan Donowho, Gano Grills, Onahoua Rodriguez, Ivan Martin

Non-Cast Credits

Sarah Rogacki, Alex Rossi, Yvette Tomlinson, Cyn Canel Rossi, Matthew Clark, Steven Gonzales, Andrew Hollander


Rena Juarez (Daniella Alonso) is not like most 15-year-old girls. An extraordinary Latina beauty from New York's Washington Heights, Rena is constantly teased for kicking around in a sports jersey, baseball cap, and baggy pants. And when she meets up with trouble, she and her friends turn to the mystical practice of Santeria to cast spells on her perpetrators. But not everyone in her circle understand the patience and faith her spiritual practice requires, so when the violent domestic crisis gets out of hand, and the power of the conjured saints mixes with the friends' youthful lust for revenge, things go awry.

A visually rich and sensuous film, Rhythm of the Saints lures us into fascinating urban teenage world that is authentic, rare, and fresh.First-time directory Sarah Rogacki gives us beautiful filmmaking that accomplishes a palpable sense of place and atmosphere, draws a career-best performance by Sarita Choudhury, and debuts the talnets of a new star in Daniella Alonso, Rhythm of the Saints is a luminous experience that continues to linger in deep places of the heart.


Shari Frilot (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.