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After the Triumph of Your Birth (2012)

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A surreal, dark humored portrait of the outsider; a music driven celebration of uncertainty.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tom Dunne ...
Eli Willits
...
Eva
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Woman of the Theater
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Sister Roisin
Maria McKee ...
Millicent
Dean Ogle ...
Jack
...
The Answer Man
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A surreal, dark humored portrait of the outsider; a music driven celebration of uncertainty.

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6 August 2012 (USA)  »

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$550 (estimated)
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Caught me off guard - a poetic and original indie
29 August 2014 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Very off-beat and odd, but also sincere, moving and thought provoking. The kind of film you see at a festival not knowing much about, and walk out feeling you saw something that had real value.

Tom Dunne, in a nuanced and effecting, subtle performance plays a man named Eli walking his way across the California desert to the Pacific ocean in Los Angeles. He's looking for meaning, and finds fragments of it in the various characters he meets along the way.

I liked the way the film created quirky characters while avoiding making fun of them, or turning them into stereotypes we've seen before.

The film manages to raise the big questions about life without seeming like a sophomore term paper. And it's beautifully shot (Akin was a photographer before he was a film-maker).

The two main characters Eli meets are women – terrific work by singer songwriter Maria McKee and Tessa Ferrer – both of whom are as lost as he is in their own way. The three intersect and touch each others lives. There's also a surreal dream character called "The Answer Man" who shows up occasionally in Eli's mind to torment him with the pointlessness of his quest for answers. This is far less pretentious than it sounds, handled as equally haunting and darkly funny.

A poetic film that I found myself loving, it's possible my lack of expectations lead to my strong positive reaction. But I don't think so. The film haunted me for days, and that's always a good sign.


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