Tahara Image


By Alan Ng | February 12, 2020

The story of Hannah and Carrie is a familiar one about childhood best friends and how these friendships often drift apart during the teen years. Hannah uses Carrie as the only person who can uphold her self-esteem and self-image to this point in life. Carrie, on the other hand, is struggling to figure out who she is and that maybe the person she is with Hannah is not the one she wants to be.

Tahara is a very light and subtle film from new filmmakers Peace and Zeidman. First, what I love is this is a teen drama and feels like teens acted it. The dialogue is appropriate to the actual age of the character. Not sure what I mean, I’ll direct you to The Breakfast Club and a cast of twenty-something teens acting like adults.

I also love the indie feel to the film. The entire movie is shot with the postage stamp aspect ratio of 1.2:1, but during the moments of high emotion, the film expands into visual art encompassing the full-screen ratio of 4:3 (I think).

“…this is a teen drama and feels like teens acted it.”

Tahara would be nothing without the wonderful performances of Sennott and DeFreece. You believe their friendship and conflict, and as actors, they understood precisely how to translate characters from script to screen. I can’t say enough about the acting.

I would also be remiss in not highlighting how funny Tahara is. The note-writing conversion during the memorial service is amazing, and the joke of it is present and never called out by the film. Then add the school counselor and her class handouts about how grief is handled in the Jewish tradition; it’s all priceless. Lastly, yes, we’ve seen high school classrooms in comedies of the past with your stereotypical cliques. Tahara’s handling of this tried-and-true comic set-up feels fresh and alive.

Tahara screened at the 2020 Slamdance Film Festival.

Tahara (2020)

Directed: Olivia Peace

Written: Jess Zeidman

Starring: Madeline Grey DeFreece, Rachel Sennott, Daniel Taveras, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Tahara Image

"…her class handouts about how grief is handled in the Jewish tradition..."

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  1. Tahara Azumi Abdallah says:

    I’m moved by the name .Tahara movie.

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