Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Director: Eliza Hittman
Screenwriters: Eliza Hittman

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Description

U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Neorealism

Autumn, a stoic, quiet teenager, is a cashier in a rural Pennsylvania supermarket. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and without viable alternatives for termination in her home state, she and her cousin Skylar scrape up some cash, pack a suitcase, and board a bus to New York City. With only a clinic address in hand and nowhere to stay, the two girls bravely venture into the unfamiliar city.

Writer-director Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love, Beach Rats) masterfully creates a spartan cinematic language through gestures and details, where subtext is just as important as written dialogue. Cinematographer Hélène Louvart shoots on 16 mm film, evoking a grainy, bleak, and stark atmosphere, capturing the young actors, Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder (both discoveries), in intimate close-ups that accentuate the complexity of their natural, minimalist performances. With bracing clarity and understated emotion, Hittman fearlessly tells the story of a teenage girl making an arduous journey, through which a bigger statement emerges—that of reclaiming her body and her spirit.

— K.Y.

Screening Details

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