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By Sabina Dana Plasse | April 6, 2021

SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! There’s nothing more hilarious and, at times, scathing as watching sisters come together to handle a grim reality. Jess Brunetto’s short film Sisters probably resonates more with those who have siblings, but it is a dark comedy on how to handle the idea and notions of aging parents who are on their deathbed. As many know, in uncertain times like that, secrets are revealed, nostalgia and emotions surface, and reality is faced by all involved. While this sounds like a been there, done that story, the writer/director puts a new spin on it all.

“After drinking, yelling, and rummaging, the sisters create a game to divide up the family heirlooms…”

Andy (Sarah Burns) is a failing actress who is in debt and heavily reliant on booze. She joins her sister, Emily (Mary Holland), at the home they grew up in. While Andy has been away, Emily became the primary caregiver for their dying mother and is currently feeling trapped in a failed relationship. After drinking, yelling, and rummaging, the sisters create a game to divide up the family heirlooms and belongings. Of course, dark, hidden truths reveal themselves, but as the two reconnect, finding resolution seems possible for both of them. Then the inauspicious ending hits viewers like a surprise left hook to the gut.

In a short amount of time, the filmmaker covers a great deal of history and life as it exists for the sisters in Sisters with the clever use of location and editing. Adding a bit of a surprise to the ending, though it may not shock those who are struggling actresses, the narrative and humor are based on Brunetto’s own experience where death brings a new beginning.

Sisters screened at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.

Sisters (2021)

Directed and Written: Jess Brunetto

Starring: Sarah Burns, Mary Holland, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Sisters Image

"…hits viewers like a surprise left hook to the gut."

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