Competition Narrative Feature
Directed by: Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer
USA, 2020, 97m
East Coast Premiere/2nd US Screening
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Like the lobsters squirming in their traps, the New England fishing families in this beautifully photographed story struggle to find ways to survive an unforgiving physical, cultural, and economic landscape. When Beth (Katia Winter, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow), an aimless petty thief, returns to her Maine home, she finds a community facing drug smugglers and a relentlessly predatory corporation headed by Jere Burns, the amoral Dixie mafia middleman in Justified. As Beth tries to work out her complicated relationship with her father (Bill Sage, We Are What We Are), he fights to keep the family’s single lobster boat independent. In what director Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer describes as a “Western on the water,” this remarkable seaside thriller shows a family trying to negotiate a world of double-, triple-, and even quadruple-crosses. Although many of the issues the film raises remain unresolved, the closing scenes offer a powerfully satisfying vision of hope.