Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
Screenwriters: Mitchell Lichtenstein

Institute History

  • 2007 Sundance Film Festival


Independent filmmaking is at its most exceptional when it defies categorization, and Teeth is jaw-droppingly undefinable. The story of a Christian high school girl caught up in her school's purity campaign—saving herself for marriage, as it were—is part horror film, part erotic/moral debate, and part outrageous assault on male vulnerability and fear.

Mitchell Lichtenstein's extraordinary feature debut is galvanized by the vagina dentata mythology (if you don't know what that is, Teeth will forever imprint it on your psyche). The innocent teenager, Dawn—so innocent she's not even aware of her own basic bodily functions—discovers quite by accident that she is anatomically very unique, a state of being that is both victimizing and incredibly empowering. Her boyfriend is getting a little aggressive, and her bad brother is the poster child for immoral teenage conduct. Writer/director Lichtenstein has created a deliciously enjoyable, yet symbolic, tale that will transform even the most resistant viewer into a rapt student of ancient taboos.

With a glowing, charged performance by Jess Weixler, Teeth is the kind of metaphorical work that keeps on satisfying, playing with our fears, fantasies, and phobias to create a potent, over-the-top fable that needs to be seen to be believed.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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