Josephine Decker’s sinister folktale is set in the dark Californian forest of Mendocino, where a Balkan folk festival is taking place. Sarah surprises her friend Isolde by visiting her at the camp, and the two of them enjoy learning about the mythical stories from those faraway lands, practising traditional song and dance and chit-chatting on their torch-lit journeys back to the tiny cottage where they sleep. Sarah encounters a handsome guy during one of their carefree moments and decides to seduce him – slowly and over the course of several days. Obscure feelings begin to disrupt her behaviour while she makes her advances, and she almost forgets about Isolde as she is dragged deeper and deeper into the mythical world being played out in front of her by the other festival guests. Ashley Connor’s refreshing cinematography and Decker’s own freestyle editing – at times experimental, at times tranquil and contemplative – articulate the eerie underworld simmering in Sarah’s unstable psyche. What begins as an innocent visit to the forest soon gives way to a confusing mind-trip, where reality and mythology become inextricably linked.
by Josephine Decker
with Sarah Small, Isolde Chae-Lawrence, Charlie Hewson