Directed by: David Zellner
83 minutes

New England Premiere

Ten-year-old Annie likes to destroy things. Like many a kid before her, Annie smashes stuff just to see what happens and tests the boundaries of her interactions with others. Without friends her own age or adult supervision, Annie wanders aimlessly, looking for something to capture her interest and wreaking havoc when the mood strikes her—which is often. But one day, she encounters something strange and mysterious in the woods, something completely out of her experience. Now Annie is challenged to tap into a feeling she’s never been asked to show before: compassion for another human being.

As Annie, young Sydney Aguirre is a revelation, allowing moments of vulnerability to peek through her rough-and-tumble exterior in a performance many actors three times her age would envy. Returning to IFFBoston with their follow-up to 2009’s GOLIATH, the Zellner brothers’ thought-provoking film probes the nature of morality and compassion: are these learned or innate behaviors? What prompts us to help others, and what holds us back? Are our actions—good or bad—connected to our fate? Masters of the almost unnervingly long static shot, the Zellner brothers hold our attention on each moment long enough for viewers to contemplate in full the questions and emotions that lurk beneath it.

—Kristina Aikens