Rudy, a grouchy, putty-colored naif rocking a Mennonite center-part, is thrown off of his normal afternoon routine of shuffling around looking glum by an intense pain in his groin. According to a not-very-trustworthy looking dude outside the bodega, it’s a hernia. Instead of wisely staying home and palpating his scrotum forlornly on the couch, Rudy sets out with vacuum cleaner in hand, coming to the rescue of his friend Suzanne’s crumb-strewn shag carpet. By the tone of their visit, we sense that it often comes to this; that Rudy’s world is a closed system of martyrdom and hypochondria.Throughout his anxious evening, Rudy appears not to be absorbing the point of the increasingly painful object lesson that his predicament has become: that sympathy has a half-life, that living from one emergency to the next is an excellent way to burn out your friends. Named for an overwhelmingly male ailment, HERNIA spins a little broadside on the emotional, and the very physical, frailty of men. -Jonathan Kieran.
Directed by Jay Giampietro. Starring Stephen Gurewitz. Cinematography by Sean Price Williams and Adam Ginsberg.