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SXSW Film Reviews: 'This Is Where We Live'

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Reviewed by Joe O'Connell, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW Film

This is Where We Live

Narrative Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca; with Menchaca, Ron Hayden, CK McFarland, Tobias Segal, Frankie Shaw

Let's be honest: "Locally made" and "locally acted" can set off film fest alarm bells. Turn them off. This Is Where We Live is an excellent film, and, no, those aren't the shrill cries of an Austin homer. The story's "where" is tiny Llano, and the living is done by a hollow family caring for August (Segal), a twentysomething with cerebral palsy. CK McFarland portrays the mother with tired resignation – and occasional bouts of explosive anger – as she does the dirty work while her husband (Hayden) slips in and out of dementia and her daughter (Shaw) tries to ignore it all. A handyman comes into the picture and shakes up their taut routine, and everything twists and changes. The mostly Austin cast disappears into these roles. The emotions they nurture are real, the places this film goes resonate, and the Hill Country backdrop glows. The film offers no easy answers to the demons slithering within, and that's a good thing. This may be a SXSW sleeper. Don't miss it.

Friday, March 15, 9:30pm, Alamo Ritz
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