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March 2, 2008
San Jose Cinequest Film Festival 18
123 Minutes
Chusy Haney-Jardine

Three semi-related vignettes: Penance, Loss, Ignorance. Crystal-clear digital video stories which take place in the Carolinas. The first story is about a red-neck trailer trash guy who loses his girlfriend and becomes convinced that she's being both romanced and brainwashed by a member of Al Queda. After all, she keeps eating pistachio nuts, and everyone knows that pistachios are "the official nut of the Jihad!" The second story is about a girl who loses a tooth and doesn't want to know that the money she finds under her pillow is from anyone else besides the tooth fairy. The final, and weakest story, is about a privileged white man who sets out to meet his first black person.

The film is Carolina-based hicky and redneck, but surprisingly not pandering or better-than-thou. I think it started strong and incredibly wacky, and slowly went downhill. My film companions thought the highlight was the tooth fairy story. No one liked the final, weak section. I was bored by the end.

Best use of a racist midget in the festival so far. So there's that.



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