SXSW 2013 Film Reviews: 'The Retrieval'

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The Retrieval

Narrative Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Chris Eska; with Ashton Sanders, Tishuan Scott, Keston John

A young black man, a bounty hunter, and the quest for true love. Sound familiar? There's certainly an undeniable resemblance between some plot points of The Retrieval and Quentin Tarantino's Christmas feature Django Unchained, but the similarities stop there. Director Chris Eska's second feature is the quieter, more contemplative of the two, by far, and it unfolds slowly and methodically amid beautiful backdrops. The film is full of crisp shots and extremely strong performances by its leads – particularly Tishuan Scott, who earned Special Jury Recognition for acting from this year's judges, and for good reason. Newcomer Sanders impresses as well in a role that rides a delicate moral line throughout; one senses the actor came of age alongside his character. Don't let a "seen-one, seen-'em-all" attitude keep you from taking in this impressive drama, a rare period piece in South by Southwest's programming.

Saturday, March 16, 11am, Stateside
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