Virtual Cinema Spotlights Three New Dramas about Young Women July 25, 2020
Next up for Virtual Cinema: Three international coming-of-age stories—House of Hummingbird (South Korea), Fourteen (USA), and Papicha (Algeria/France)—offer portraits of young women and their range of experiences.
► House of Hummingbird
Bora Kim’s House of Hummingbird is a contemplative portrait of a 14-year-old girl named Eun-hee living in 1994 Seoul, South Korea. After she meets a wise and worldly Chinese tutor, Eun-hee’s insecurity and doubt transform into a strong sense of individuality. What begins as a normal summer evolves into a personal journey underscored by South Korea’s rapidly changing society. Intimate and patient, House of Hummingbird is strikingly personal and heart-wrenchingly honest. Scroll down for streaming info.
Fourteen similarly explores what it’s like to be 14, but under entirely different circumstances. Set in present-day New York, Dan Sallitt’s film follows Mara, now a preschool teacher, as she continues to confront the unequal dynamic between herself and her childhood best friend, Jo, a dreamy and impulsive addict traumatized by early adolescence. Reminiscent of the early 2000s mumblecore movement, Fourteen is voyeuristic and cavalier; lingering shots of empty frames ask the audience to fill in the blanks. This experience, while the opposite of House of Hummingbird’s distinctive tight close-ups, creates something equally personal—a distinct viewing experience tailor-made to each audience member’s perspective on friendship, love, and truth. Scroll down for streaming info.
Mounia Meddour’s debut feature, Papicha, rounds out this unofficial trilogy of coming-of-age films. It shows the violent implications of misogyny and oppression through the lens of Algeria’s civil war of 1997. The main character, Nedjma (played by Lyna Khaoudri, who stars in Wes Anderson’s forthcoming The French Dispatch), is a university student and aspiring fashion designer. The film deftly escalates tension alongside light-hearted scenes of Nedjma’s escapades. With electric performances and an agonizingly poignant climax, Papicha cannot be missed. Scroll down for streaming info.
Underwriting for the Film Department is provided by Tenaris and the Vaughn Foundation.
Generous funding is provided by The Consulate General of Israel Houston; Nina and Michael Zilkha; Franci Neely; Carrin Patman and Jim Derrick; Mr. and Mrs. H. Bruce Sallee; Lynn S. Wyatt; ILEX Foundation; Consolato Generale D’Italia Houston; L’Alliance Française de Houston; and The Foundation for Independent Media Arts.