Thursday, March 17, 2022

Liz Whittemore on IT IS IN US ALL (2022) SXSW 2022

Once more Liz Whittemore from Reel News Daily checks back in with a look at the look at toxic masculinity IT IS IN US ALL

Hamish arrives on the soil of his mother’s birth; she is felt instantly. A shocking car accident rips him apart, shattering his clenched control. A beast broken, he finds himself lost in the world of his long-deceased mother. Young teen Evan, also involved in the accident befriends Hamish. The tremors of want and love beneath the stifling soil push to the surface, as he is led by the vitality of the unbridled boy Evan. He experiences the electric eroticism of living and danger. His rage accelerates to violence, and ultimately his vibrant release.

The layers of complexity in this script are unfathomable. A small town brimming with secrets pushes Hamish past his already frazzled limits, physically and mentally. In an attempt to figure out why his late mother left her hometown years ago, Hamish finds himself wrapped up in the local drama. As he navigates through the town landscape, quite literally at times, he faces more personal uncertainty than he could have ever anticipated.

If you want to see sheer brilliance on screen Cosmo Jarvis is your man. His portrayal of Hamish is brimming with nuance and unresolved trauma. If you have yet to see Jarvis in The Shadow of Violence, you must. The themes of identity and grief drive the film, and Jarvis plays each beat with an intensity that gets under your skin. 

Fair warning for photosensitive viewers: look for intense strobe effects combined with loud music about an hour into the runtime. Impactful lighting choices, a bathroom, a club, headlights, or the naturally foggy but lush landscape create a tense atmosphere. Themes are identity and trauma take center stage. Writer-director-actor Antonia Campbell-Hughes nails this narrative. IT IS IN US ALL is in direct response to toxic masculinity. The disintegration of self in these male characters occurs because they have been prevented from expressing emotions, questioning their place, or healing their wounds. It’s a sharp, meditative piece of filmmaking and evokes a much larger conversation on patriarchal behavior. 

For more from the wonderful Liz Whittemore go over to Reel News Daily

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