Fingers in the Wind Image

Fingers in the Wind

By Jason Delgado | October 11, 2022

Filmmaker Chad Murdock’s first feature film, Fingers in the Wind, features elements of both realism and surrealism to make for an original and interesting mix. A traditional score is replaced instead with repetitive sounds, such as a car blinker left on, birds chirping, or blinking traffic lights. There are long shots focused on trees, a city street, or characters doing mundane tasks such as taking their shoes off or taking a shower (and not in a sexual, voyeuristic way). This all adds up to a slower-paced film than usual, but there’s also a mystery to the narrative that keeps the viewer guessing where this is going.

The movie starts off in a New York City apartment, with Naya (Maya Holliday) reading a letter to her friend Faye (Taylor Brianna) about how she feels that their friendship has become empty and meaningless. Rather than build resentment, Naya is ending it now. In shock and denial, Faye asks if they’re still going out to karaoke before being shown the door.

When in real life does someone ever read you a letter about how they don’t want to be friends anymore? I’d be in disbelief too. This is just the tip of the iceberg of strange events, though. Faye goes to the park and mistakes a young man (Azendé Kendale Johnson) for an old friend named Kenny. This isn’t the last time that mistaken identity plays a part in Fingers in the Wind.

Faye and the young man spend the rest of the day in the park…”

Faye and the young man spend the rest of the day in the park, talking and growing a closer blond. Faye shares details about an intimate experience that traumatized her, which plays a part later on as well. Young adulthood can definitely alternate between mundane and traumatizing, so is that one of the messages that Murdoch is giving us? Possibly, although it’s all very cryptic and up to the viewer for interpretation.

The small, all-African-American cast is amazing. Taylor Brianna leads the way with a nice range of emotions. Torri Grice nicely rounds out the cast as Ms. Barnes, Faye’s mom. People looking for a traditional kind of film may be disappointed, but if you’re open to something new, then you just may enjoy the mystery and freshness of Fingers in the Wind.

There are some scenes that become dream-like in nature, and thinking about the film afterward, maybe it is centered on Faye trying to work through the original trauma that she tells the stranger in the park all about. That’s the beauty and magic of movies, the final meaning is whatever you take it for, and we all have different prisms from which to view from.

Fingers in the Wind is not an easy viewing experience because of the slow pacing and ambiguity. But the cast and Murdoch’s originality in both technique and narrative make it a worthwhile journey for me. I look forward to seeing where the director’s filmmaking career goes from here.

Fingers in the Wind screened at the 2022 New Orleans Film Festival.

Fingers in the Wind (2022)

Directed and Written: Chad Murdoch

Starring: Taylor Brianna, Maya Holliday, Azendé Kendale Johnson, Torri Grice, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Fingers in the Wind Image

"…the cast and Murdoch’s originality in both technique and narrative make it a worthwhile journey..."

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