JWR Articles: Film/DVD - 18 and Out (Director: Misha Zubarev) - April 28, 2009

18 and Out

4 4
10 min.

Harrowing systemic adulthood

Most kids can’t wait to be eighteen. What was off-limits, frequently punishable before (drinking, R-rated films, voting), no longer requires fake ID, older friends or just plain old hutspah to indulge in (for failing to exercise one’s civic duty, the “punishment” is four more years of establishment mores and values).

Cameron (Jesse Lehman) sees things differently. On the very day he reaches the age of majority, he must vacate his foster home and suddenly be a man on his own. In Misha Zubarev’s brief but enlightening narrative, Cameron is framed by many doorways—room, house, car—each one slamming shut the artificial home-life provided by the state.

Before you can say “Where do I take you?” he’s sharing the floor with long-term residents in a homeless shelter. With few words, and telling hesitations from Lehman and those around him, Zubarev (guided by Leontyne Anglin’s storyline) makes several points simultaneously.

The music plays an important role (although the piano is struck with too much weight to unlock the melodic warmth; the guitar is just right) in underscoring the systemic dilemma.

In this “fictional” case, there is a phone at the end of a very dark tunnel, but too often that call never comes. JWR

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