Three teenagers form an unlikely bond on a road trip to nowhere in a wide open field behind a women's shelter. In a broken-down 1970's VW bus, upper-class-sixteen-year-old Josephine Nash, ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Greenblatt ...
Josephine Nash
Candice Nash
Jaren Brandt Bartlett ...
David Nash
Klodyne Rodney ...
Julie Patzwald ...
Cyler Point ...
Pamela MacDonald ...
The Countess


Three teenagers form an unlikely bond on a road trip to nowhere in a wide open field behind a women's shelter. In a broken-down 1970's VW bus, upper-class-sixteen-year-old Josephine Nash, wise-beyond-her-years Kendra and urban-poet Cal invent their own private Utopia. It shatters when Cal's mother is killed and he's forced out of the Shelter. Jo's anger detonates, throwing her onto a collision course with everyone around her. "Sheltered Life" explores themes of morality, vengeance, and justice, through these three friends, an ensemble cast of shelter women, and the story of a daughter who loves her mother enough to destroy the world. Written by Cineman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A condemnation of violence as an agent of change. See more »





Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 April 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Words can't do this film justice. Just see it.
8 September 2009 | by (ireland) – See all my reviews

I saw "Sheltered Life" at the Phoenix Film Festival, it was, by a large margin, my film of the festival.

At the Q&A at the end we heard it was the director's first feature (his Short films have won awards worldwide), I was amazed/jealous. When someone sets the bar so high for a first feature, well you just wonder "how can I compete, maybe I should give up now'.

The soundtrack is totally on the money, even better it is memorable. I can't remember the music of any other film I saw at the festival and that is not saying that they were bad.

The script is sharp, funny, poignant and complete (first feature film produced for the scriptwriter also).

Ellen Page was approached for the lead role but I don't believe she could have bettered the girl in the film. In so many low budget features there are actors who just don't rate. In 'Sheltered Life' there are no poor performances. The acting is always good and often stand out brilliant. Best supporting actress is the shelter manager.

Finally the photography is superb, I am a stills photographer myself and some of the shots are just plain beautiful. I presume Carl gave the DP some latitude to give his best because whoever the guy is worked their socks off.

Carl did the edit as well. This isn't a Canadian or American film it's European (French I think but I can't say firmly why).

There are many moments when we get short or long periods with no dialogue just wonderful vignettes of people or their surroundings (with that beautiful soundtrack). What can I say I loved it.

I got a screener copy from the director and told my daughter (21) so much about the film that she gave in and watched it. I asked her what she thought, she won't say. She was moved beyond words.

In years to come people will look back and say how did we miss this? If it screens anywhere near you, go.

There are scenes /characters in Sheltered Life which have stuck permanently in my head.

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