All Films • 03-Feb-2014
Jeremy Hersh's impressive short fresh out of NYU is remarkably mature & whip smart. Coming off a strong '13, featuring festival appearances at SXSW, Frameline, and Outfest, etc, the film is off to a running start online, recently selected to Vimeo Staff Picks & featured on Short of the Week. The gist: A Jewish woman, Rachel, and her Native American girlfriend, Anita, take a trip to visit Anita's estranged Native American parents...It's an uncomfortable reunion, exaggerated by the presence of Rachel, who desperately tries to make a speedy connection with the stoic parents. Toting her progressive upbringing + NPR knowledge, Rachel aims to soak up some real in-the-field cultural enrichment. Thing is, the parents seem uninterested in a cultural exchange, preoccupied with their daily patterns, perhaps partially in an effort to distract from what's "going on," namely that their closeted daughter is dating a woman, something their Seneca culture dismisses. The dynamic between Rachel and Anita is rendered with sharp insight. Rachel is dogged in her attempts to connect with Anita's parents. She spots a DVD of Lost, Anita's mother favorite show, and angles in: "Oh my god. We have to talk all about this. I'm addicted to it." Or suspends her vegetarianism to eat meat which she projects is traditionally prepared, "I can make an exception for something this special." The while, Anita becomes increasingly anxious about Rachel overstepping, "Are you seriously gonna tell me about my family based on what you have read in a feminist textbook?" And annoyed at Rachel's constant insistence that she tell the truth about their relationship. "It's not a closet thing. It's an Indian thing." Emily Young and Kendra Mylnechuk play the couple in spot-on performances. One of the more astute short films in recent memory, a rich & truthful psychological evaluation. -KA.
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