“It takes some time to learn to like yourself.” Bora Kim’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama House of Hummingbird takes us inside the struggle of a middle school girl as she keeps looking for something in her life that will bring emotional nurture and fulfilment. Eighth grader Eun-hee (Ji-hu Park) is seen by many of her classmates… [Read More]
Hala is the story of a young woman caught between two world—her parents’ and the culture she has grown up in. It is a stereotypical coming-of-age story with the additional conflict of having to live by additional rules that grow out of her parents’ values. But it also turns into not just about her yearning… [Read More]
Set in the rolling hills of the English countryside, Guy Davies’ Philophobia is a picture of small-town adolescence. With only one more week of high school remaining, Kai (Joshua Glenister), an aspiring writer, and his friends are both excited and terrified about what lies ahead. As the clock ticks down on their school experience, the teens must… [Read More]
Before You Know It tells the story of Rachel (Hannah Pearl Utt) and Jackie (Jen Tullock), two dysfunctional co-dependent sisters who live above a theatre in New York. Tasked with caring for their aging father (Mandy Patinkin), the two women are shocked to discover that Sherrell (Judith Light), the mother they thought had died when they… [Read More]
It would be an oversimplification to call this a Black Lives Matter film, although it most certainly fits that description. But it is also a far deeper examination of not only African-American identity, but of the importance of finding oneself in order to know one’s place in the world and how that fulfills what one is meant to do with their life.
What moments shape you? In this coming of age tale, we see a snippet of the daily struggles of Howie (Brendan Meyer). Howie is simultaneously navigating his parent’s rocky relationship, infatuation with an unknown girl he sees on the bus, and another girl who is infatuated with him. We get a good indication of Howie’s… [Read More]
Teenage years can be a difficult time as one tries establish an identity. But what happens when religion is suddenly put into the mix? In Jinn, a young woman must learn how to fit Islam into her life and determine how to adapt herself to a new way of seeing things.
Written and directed by Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade follows the story of Kayla (portrayed brilliantly by Elsie Fisher), a pre-teen girl in the final week before her middle school graduation. Looking forward to high school in the fall, Kayla is caught between who she was and who she wants to be. As her school year comes… [Read More]
Coming-of-age stories are often about discovery as characters emerge from childhood. They often harken back to the story of Eden, as Adam and Eve eat forbidden fruit and their eyes are opened to see and experience the world in new ways.
What Will People Say was one of my favorite films at AFIFest this year. I wasn’t alone in my estimation of the work; it also won the Audience Award in the New Auteurs section. It is a powerful and engaging film in which two different value systems collide within the life of a teenager as she grows up with connection to two cultures.