Sunday, March 26

Special Events ArchiveBoston Underground Film Festival 2017

Bitch

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Bitch - Still 6

Closing Night Selection

Director: Marianna Palka
Screenwriter: Marianna Palka
Cast: Marianna Palka, Brighton Sharbino
2017 | USA | 96 min

A long-suffering housewife descends into dissociative doggone delirium.

At the end of her rope, a mother’s suicide attempt is thwarted by a lack of load-bearing fixtures. Crashing to the ground, Jill (Marianna Palka) takes a chunk of the ceiling and lamp with her, where it remains as an unseen physical manifestation of her mental state; something for the family to step over on the way to the dinner table. She yearns to go on a painting retreat, but she can’t because responsibilities (which she must unfairly shoulder alone, because patriarchy).

Caged in the suburbs of our discontent, begging her philandering husband Bill (Jason Ritter) for a moment’s respite from a life overrun by the busy schedules of all in her charge (four kids), Jill quietly snaps and enters a fugue state, consumed by the psyche of a vicious dog. Retreating into the bowels of the house, she strips, shits, gnashes and paces, transforming into her own antithesis, or rather, into a being altogether unrecognizable by a family codependent on her nuclear force.

Stay-at-work paterfamilias is suddenly thrust into the role of caretaker, something he’s grudgingly and wholly unprepared to do. Everything Bill has taken for granted has dissolved with his wife’s sanity. Enlisting the help of his sister-in-law Beth (Jaime King), the familial unit must rally together to momlessly function and simultaneously coax her to emerge from her feral shell.

Accompanied by a discordant score somewhere between 12 Monkeys and 1987’s Real Men, Marianna Palka writes, directs, and stars in her bitingly funny and profound fourth feature film, a humane and angry examination of gender politics and what it means to suddenly wake up inside the house fire that is currently the American dream.

-Nicole McControversy


Preceded by:

thebridgepartner

THE BRIDGE PARTNER

Gabriel Olson | USA | 14 min

A timid housewife is jolted into a fight for her survival or sanity by her new partner at a weekly bridge game when she thinks she hears a whispered threat.