The Latest • 11m
Through a series of witness depositions, a detective aims to uncover the truth about the death of a young woman at the hands of her church. The enigmatic “Babywatch,” by director Eli Powers, is loosely based on a real story from the early 1990’s involving a woman’s mental breakdown and a locked motel room. The film is but a fragment, trading narrative lucidity for a series of intriguing moments and sense of unease. Nora is suffering through an unnamed bout of mental distress when she’s removed from the community, locked in a motel room, and assigned a rotating crew of guards/helpers to keep watch on her. What the goal is is unclear. Scenes flashing forward to the aftermath of her death after 17 days in captivity find police attempting to peel away the layers of a truly bizarre case. A film that requires vigilance and acceptance — it doesn’t hand over exposition in traditional ways — it registers with a perverse sense of humor (see: Nora repeatedly muttering, “E.T., go home”), carried by a captivating lead performance. Last October, we featured Powers’ previous short, “Holy Moses,” another strange, encrypted vision which operates from an elevated plane of curiosity and withholding.
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