Jack returns home to find his family has sold their house without his knowledge, perhaps because he’s no longer the Jane they all know. Lio Mehiel directs and stars in “Disforia” (Heidi Hartwig co-directs), a psychological horror about coming out as trans, a haunting vision of alienation and distress told in parallel timelines. At home during Christmas with his wealthy family, Jack finds himself at odds with the carefree personalities of his sisters, their color-coordinated holiday outfits, their impromptu photo shoots. The next time he comes home, he finds everything has changed — the house is now empty, listed for sale without explanation, and he can’t get a hold of his father. As he tries to make sense of the abandonment, the line between reality and hallucinations, past and present, begin to merge. Mehiel and Hartwig’s film nails the feeling of a nightmare and reinvigorates genre tropes by maintaining a vivid coherence of character and theme. -KA.
A short film by Lio Mehiel. Directed by Lio Mehiel and Heidi Hartwig. Cast: Lio Mehiel, Alyssa Kempinksi. Edited by Dulcinee DeGuere. Cinematography by Barbie Leung. Composer: Kevin Carey. Producers: Voyeur Productions, Ashley George, Julia Rose Duray.