Review by Sandy Rakka
Growing up in Lithuania, Rita Sistrunk, shares with us her story as a Lithuanian, North European who grew up during the Soviet occupation in the 1980’s and then decided to escape her hard country life and her alcoholic father, where she found herself struggling to adapt in New York City, due to the cultural differences, as she finds her struggling to maintain a life of a materialistic New Yorker, who drinks canned milk instead of drinking the milk freshly out from the grass-fed cows’ breasts.
In a beautiful, sarcastic monologue Rita succeeded in playing all the roles of her father, her mother, the neighbor from the land, and the younger Rita all by herself! As she portrayed both lives in parallel timed- frames, one goes to the 1989’s of a Post-Soviet war community, and another back to Rita’s Adult and independent self.
Strangers Among Us, was the term Rita used to describe how she felt as a stranger from Lithuania among the Americans, in their states. Same as many other Russians, and Ukrainian and Syrian immigrants who left their homes due to wars, striving and seeking a better life.
“Strangers Among Us” is a short Docu-Drama film written, Directed, and acted by Rita Sistrunk, as it was a very interesting nostalgic, and emotional piece of work that reflected the effect of wars on oneself.
Amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine an ambitious New York City transplant struggles to write an article for New Yorker Magazine forcing her to relive her childhood in Soviet occupied Lithuania.
Director Biography – Rita Sistrunk
Rita Sistrunk- writer, director, actor, editor and producer for “Strangers Among Us”
Rita Sistrunk is a Lithuanian born and New York bred actress.
Rita is a graduate of The William Esper Studio Two-Year Professional Actor Training Program in Manhattan. She trained in Vocal Jazz performance in Lithuania and Musical Theater performance at the New York Film Academy.
Rita is the voice of “Ira” in Season 1 and 2 of The Visionaries Audio Drama.
“Strangers Among Us” is Rita’s first project.