In a future where women are dying rapidly, a female psychologist counsels orphaned children to find answers. A stunningly achieved dystopian tale directed by Blake Salzman, “Midwife” is notable for its melding of genre and art-house sensibilities, and a powerful lead performance by Jules Willcox that navigates unflinching despair with a flicker of hope. Her name is Tess, a rare female survivor after a biological attack has ravaged the population. As she makes her rounds through the detention center’s bleak cells, she’s forced into unthinkable roles — surrogate mother to abused and neglected children, and as sexual partner to deplorable inmates in exchange for information. When Tess hears rumor of a little girl in captivity, she must accelerate her efforts to unearth answers and break through the shocking conditions before the chance is lost. Covered in bold strokes of style and atmosphere (one particularly astounding sequence half way through recaps and expands with as much grim flourish as you’ll ever see), the film introduces Salzman as a promising young director with a audacious vision.
Written and directed by Blake Salzman. Starring Jules Willcox. Produced by Jonathan Ward, Blake Salzman, Anthony Estrada. Cinematography: Joshua Lipton, Justin Hamilton. Production Design and Costumes: Mariana Castro. Editor: Blake Salzman. Sound Design: Marilyn Morris