Movie Short Review: ‘Kindling’

Greetings again from the darkness. Childhood best friends forge a bond that is never really broken. Piper (Jill Renner) and Celeste (Nicole Falk in her first credited role) grew up in the same trailer park. Piper is shown glancing at an old photo booth snapshot of the two girls hamming it up when they were younger and closer.

This moment occurs as Piper is waiting in her beat up truck outside Celeste’s Sorority House. See, Celeste needs a ride to the abortion clinic, and who else to call than her old buddy from the neighborhood? It’s an awkward reunion at first, as time and distance has changed them both.

Xinyi Zhu directs Sheridan Watson’s first screenplay, and it bears similarities to Eliza Hittman’s NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS, one of the best films so far this year. We witness the connection young women share, and the courage and strength required to maintain control of their body … facing down the anti-abortion/pro-life protesters outside the clinic. But this 14 minute short is also about the growth and direction of two once inseparable friends. At the local bar, they fall right back into their comfort zone with drinking, dancing, and laughing, but at drop-off back at the Sorority House, the girls will go their own way – a lifetime bond strengthened yet again, by holding hands on a sidewalk stroll.

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