Manny and Lo

Director: Lisa Krueger
Screenwriters: Lisa Krueger

Institute History


Amanda is eleven, and her sister Laurel is sixteen. They have escaped separate foster homes and are together at last, on the road and on the lam. Stealing what they need, checking for their photos on milk cartons, sleeping in vacant houses, they must keep running if only to avoid admitting to each other that nobody is looking for them after all.

It seems they could go on indefinitely this way until Laurel discovers she is pregnant. Their salvation comes in the form of Elaine, a shop clerk and self-appointed expert on everything maternal. The girls kidnap and hold her hostage as they set about preparing for the baby. Elaine has her own secrets, however. She knows nothing about childbirth, and as it turns out, no one is looking for her, either. In fact, hooking up with Amanda and Laurel seems to be the single most important thing that has ever happened to her.

Lisa Krueger has crafted a tale with incredible insight into the raw need for family. On one level, Manny and Lo is the story of three misfits, but on another, it raises the intriguing question of what constitutes “family.” How much is cultural and how much instinctual? The performances, especially by the actresses playing the two sisters, are wonderfully natural and poignant. Krueger’s light touch, skilled storytelling, and eye for human detail make Manny and Lo a remarkable first feature.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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