Things Behind the Sun

Director: Allison Anders
Screenwriters: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


The sleepy landscape of a humid Florida beach town is the setting for Things Behind the Sun. Owen Richardson (Gabriel Mann), a hip music journalist, is dispatched to write a piece on young rock musician Sherry (Kim Dickens). With her fame on the rise and a hard-living Janis Joplin-like reputation, Sherry is no easy assignment for the young reporter. Immediately, one senses something looms beneath the surface of this meeting, and indeed it does. It seems fate has brought the two together to confront troubling secrets from their past.

Allison Anders is well known for creating some of the most evocative characters in independent film and has done it once again with vivid personalities—complex, unpredictable, and existing in lives both flawed and real. She seems to conjure them from her own experience, and then allows us to watch them as they come to life. In Things Behind the Sun, she creates a situation so infused with dramatic potential, it all but bursts from the screen. The performances of Mann and Don Cheadle as Sherry's lover and manager are some of the richest you will find at this year's Film Festival, and Dixon's haunting portrayal fully captures the tough yet wounded soul of Sherry.

With cowriter Kurt Voss, Anders explores the vibrations and repercussions that arise from the things we do as well as the things we don't. What Things behind the Sun provides is the opportunity for emotional and spiritual healing.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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