In this creepily ambiguous lo-fi metaphysical sci-fi thriller, a young couple infiltrate a suburban LA cult. With writer/star Brit Marling (Another Earth). “Taut, compelling… [A] nifty little spellbinder.” — Variety
Screened as part of NZIFF 2012
Brit Marling, who also starred in and co-wrote last year’s Another Earth, proves again that lo-fi metaphysical sci-fi is her medium. In this creepily ambiguous twilight-zone tale a young, hardcore rationalist couple infiltrate a suburban LA cult with the intention of creating a documentary exposé. Their target is Maggie (Marling), a charismatic young woman on life support whose blissed-out disciples believe that she is a refugee from the year 2054 come to prepare the world’s most illusion-fixated city for the apocalypse she escaped. The processes of religious indoctrination are laid out with wicked precision. But the psychosexual power play Maggie lays on her would-be unmaskers goes way deeper than the brainwash they came armed for. Marling’s cool luminosity on screen, the script’s narrative ingenuity and the pared-down direction of first-time director Zal Batmanglij combine to jangle audience insecurities well beyond the final frame.