Brent struggles with the meaning of his girlfriend's suicide, which she acted out with her ex-boyfriend who she seemed to continue loving in secret. “Dearly Departed,” directed by Ester Song Kim, is a painfully dark comedy about being blindsided by someone you thought you knew. It’s a fine line between funny and nightmarish, and Kim boldly maneuvers within absurd levels of pathos and cringe. Brent finds himself at a loss when his girlfriend of three years, Shauna, suddenly passes away, and no one bothers to tell him about it. It gets worse when we learn the circumstances surrounding her death. As we piece together that Shauna had an ongoing passionate relationship with another man, Brent gets shoved to the side of any conversation of her life. At the wake and funeral, Brent reaches a breaking point, and begins to react in extreme fashion. We’ve featured Kim twice previously, with last year’s “Lavender,” and with 2018’s “The Practice of Loneliness,” which won a Spirit of NoBudge award that year. -KA.
Directed by Ester Song Kim. Written and Produced by Ester Song Kim & Brad Gage. Starring Brad Gage, Nika Burnett, Peter De Riemer, Lindsay Ames, Eric Acosta. Director of Photography: Christian Klein. Editor: Bobby McCoy, Paul Isakson. Original Score: Jason Martin Castillo.