SXSW 2017 Review: INHERITANCE

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

No one ever truly enjoys returning home to bury a parent.  This is especially true when doing so re-opens old painful wounds and releases some inner demons from the past. Written and directed by Laura E. Davis and Jessica Kaye, the bold and powerful film Inheritance addresses these very real issues that people often face in this situation.  Kaye stars as Mara, a seemingly content young woman involved in a romantic relationship with boyfriend Aaron (Daniel Ahearn).  The two lovers plan to return to Mara’s home in Belize for her father’s seventieth birthday.  However, they discover upon arrival that her father has suddenly died.  As Mara, her brother Ben (Mark Webber), Daniel and others near and dear to the family make the funeral arrangements, secrets and painful memories from the past begin to surface within both Mara and Ben and these repressed emotions cause the brother and sister to act out in some disturbing and hurtful ways.

I was truly blown away with this film in so many ways.  The writing, directing and acting delivers tremendously and makes for raw, enthralling and heartbreaking experience.  The film offers solid performances by the cast all around, but actress Jessica Kaye and Mark Webber truly stand out for their exceptional work here.  Kaye gives a performance that is very real, emotional and absolutely stunning.  Kaye also deserves much praise for also serving as co-writer and co-director of the film.  Mark Webber delivers a genuinely compelling turn full of real vulnerability and delicacy.  The movie is not always an easy one to stomach, but I applaud the courage of the filmmakers and actors in creating a very realistic and bold representation of abuse and the toll it can take on one’s soul.  It is my favorite film of this year’s festival.

 

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