Afraid of Everything

Director: David Barker
Screenwriters: David Barker

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Anne, an attractive French woman in her mid-thirties, has suffered a permanent disability as a result of an auto accident. In the year following her rehabilitation, she has scarcely left the loft she inhabits with her architect husband, Donny, obsessively busying herself with remodeling efforts and other menial chores. Despite the couple’s deep mutual affection, Anne’s physical injury and agoraphobia have come to weigh heavily on her marriage, though neither she nor Donny seem able to articulate their frustrations nor willing to reinitiate sexual relations.
Into this tense and muted environment breezes Anne’s half sister from Israel, a whirling blast of energy and insouciant teenage fun. Yearning for the normalcy she perceives in the more traditional framework of her sister’s life, Iris implants herself in their home, providing a breath of fresh air for Anne and a bee sting to Donny’s guarded, hangdog reticence. With their cautious subsistence blown asunder, Anne and Donny are catapulted into an awareness of their repressed fears and desires and forced to deconstruct the truth of their projections, neuroses, and increasingly exclusive realities.
The intelligence that permeates David Barker’s rigorous, personal, and deeply textured first feature is striking. With its understated story, rich character detail, and minimalist aesthetic, Afraid of Everything feels distinctly unlike other works currently populating the American indie film landscape. However, despite the intensity of its revelations, the film maintains a bouyant levity, gently steering us and its narrative toward laughter and optimism in the face of grave awakenings.


David Barker, Director
After dropping out of NYU’s film school, David Barker studied anthropology at the University of Chicago and cooking in New York City before returning to film and theatre as a writer and director. His short play, Does Thinking Take Place Out Loud?, won the Paul T. Nolan prize for short drama in 1998, and a full-length musical will premiere in the fall of 1999. Afraid of Everything is his first film.

— Rebecca Yeldham

Screening Details

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