Archives / 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Half - Life

Director: Jennifer Phang

Screenwriters: Jennifer Phang

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival

Description

Set in the idyllic hills of northern California, Jennifer Phang's marvelously original first feature, Half—Life, is a supernormal tale about self-absorbed and disillusioned suburbanites who live in a futuristic time of natural disasters, suffocating air quality, and accelerating global cataclysms.

Single mom Suara Wu and her two kids, Pam and Timothy, struggle to rebuild their family in the presence of a sinister, but charming, interloper. Pam seeks refuge in her object of desire, a young hipster named Scott who, in turn, attempts to jar hid fundamentalist parents out of their denial of his gay identity. Timothy, meanwhile, stumbles upon a way to develop and hone paranormal powers that he summons to alter everyone's reality.

Modern and philosophical, Half—Life ,masterfully blends menacing rage with tenderness and vulnerability of youth to create a tale that injects an empowering and preserving hopefulness into the family's fatalistic fears of a disintegrating world. A visually ambitious accomplishment filled with gorgeous cinematography, handcrafted animation, and expertly concocted faux news reports, this auspicious directorial debut is without precedent and firmly establishes Jennifer Phang as an exciting talent to watch.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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