PALM SPRINGS SHORTFEST REVIEW! When not reporting about how the world is falling apart from around us, morning news programs try to lighten things up a bit with human interest stories of bravery and heroism. I suppose short films get to cover the rest. In Beth Einhorn and Bridey Elliott’s The Starr Sisters, they spotlight a pair of siblings that no new organization would touch, but who’s story epitomizes the phrase “human interest.”
Patte and Randa are The Starr Sisters. The short opens with the two sisters discussing the #MeToo tribulations of Marilyn Monroe—who to stay relevant in Hollywood was required to perform regular blowjobs on her stars and studio heads. A shocking way to start a film, but you soon discover its relevance.
Long story short, Patte and Randa grew up in the only Jewish family in East Hampton. Their childhood was a series of bullying from their schoolmates and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse from their parents. In other words, their youth sucked.
“…for the two, they experience newfound joy in living.”
Patte wound soon enter a loveless marriage founded in BDSM, while Randa would embrace being a lesbian at a time with being gay was looked down upon and strangely exotic. Patte recently moved in with Randa in her Santa Monica home, and for the two, they experience newfound joy in living.
This new joy is a major theme of Einhorn and Elliott’s short. As the sisters never had a happy childhood, they are finding their childlike happiness today. The Starr sisters may not have changed the world or marked their place in history, but what they did do was find a way out of the ashes of their past and find hope.
The Starr Sisters is an engaging look at a quirky pair…we should be so quirky. They’ve had the benefit of a lifetime’s worth of experience and hard moments to reflect on their lives and find perspective. Their lives are bright and colorful, and the short reflects it visually. How Patte and Randa tell their story is captivating and accompanied by equally captivating visuals from the filmmakers.
This eccentric story comes highly recommended. We could use a little hope once in a while…right?
The Starr Sisters screened at the 2020 Palm Springs Shortfest.
"…an engaging look at a quirky pair…we should be so quirky."