During their first Thanksgiving together, Isabelle meets her boyfriend’s parents and helps prepare dinner. “A Very Oakland Thanksgiving,” directed by Karsten Kaufmann, is a home video portrait shot on mini-DV of a young woman merging into a new family. The film intercuts footage from kitchen meal prep with little trips around the city to feed cows, or to see Alcatraz. Permeating is a slightly anxious, excitable energy, partly due to Isabelle’s introduction and partly due to the whole thing being filmed by Isabelle’s boyfriend. It’s highly personal filmmaking filled with specificity and realness, attuned to small moments (a couple of which revolve around face tuning apps), and enlivened by energetic editing and bursts of music.
Directed by Karsten Kaufmann. Starring Isabelle Kelley.