Director: Anthony Chen
Screenwriters: Susanne Farrell, Alexander Maksik

Institute History

  • 2023 Sundance Film Festival


Having fled war-torn Liberia, Jacqueline (Cynthia Erivo), the formerly wealthy daughter of a government loyalist, finds herself struggling to survive on a Greek island. She gives foot massages to tourists on the beach, steals food to survive, and squats in caves and abandoned buildings. In the evenings, Jacqueline is haunted by memories of her homeland and the violent uprising that forced her escape. When she meets Callie (Alia Shawkat), a lonely American tour guide, Jacqueline takes a chance on friendship.

Award-winning Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s (Ilo Ilo) English-language debut is an uncommon refugee drama and a psychologically acute character study. Adapted by Susanne Farrell and Alexander Maksik from Maksik’s 2013 novel, A Marker to Measure Drift, the film sensitively examines both Jacqueline’s fraught attempt to resume life in the aftermath of unimaginable tragedy and her growing bond with a fellow expat. Erivo, who was nominated for an Oscar for 2019’s Harriet, vividly portrays Jacqueline’s bone-deep grief and all-too-fresh fears, as well as her guarded attempts at human connection.

This film contains graphic depictions of sexual violence.

Screening Details

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