Director: Deidre Fishel
Screenwriters: Deidre Fishel

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


A down and dirty love story from a woman's point of view, Risk is writer/director Dierdre Fishel's first feature film. What initially appears to be a "lovers on the run" genre story becomes an internally driven exploration of love. Rather than running from cops and gunshots, Fishel's renegades run from themselves and at the end of the road crash head on into each other.

In an interesting twist on the "woman as object" theory, Maya is a nude model for artists, a subject of desire. She is also an artist herself, not totally confident about her work, but wholly unsatisfied with acting as a muse for male interpretation. She meets Joe, a drifter with a history of petty crime, on a bus. Trying to deal with the open-endedness of their lives, they fall into each other's arms. They're smart, yet they still take uncalculated risks, entering into an unknown world where there are no clear boundaries. They steal a car and take off. first to the farmhouse where Joe's sister lives, and then on a series of eerie adventures. They end up at a roadside cabin, and it is there that their defenses fall away. Joe's masochism comes to the surface in a jumble of troubled past experiences. As the film moves to its devastating climax, Maya makes the choice not only to love Joe, but to try and save him.

The anxious and lonely tone of this film is one of its strongest assets. The characters bare all, and Fishel captures one of life's most uncompromising
truths: we're all here alone. Maya tries to combat her fears by making Joe her muse, but this time the man becomes distraught when he is the one objectified. Stellar performances by the talented Karen Sillas (Maya) and the courageous David Ilku (Joe) draw us into a world of mystery that lies surprisingly close beneath the surface.

Friday Jan 21 7:20 pm
Holiday Village Cinema 11

Saturday Jan 22 4:20 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II

Thursday Jan 27 6:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Saturday Jan 29 10:20 am
Holiday Village Cinema II


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details

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