Wednesday, June 08, 2011

SIFF 2011: Natural Selection

Natural Selection is the first feature film from Robbie Pickering and was a big hit of the SXSW film festival taking home quite a few awards including both the audience and the grand jury awards for narrative feature and a movie I would have completely overlooked since I tend to avoid small American features, because nothing good is American. Natural Selection follows Linda White (Rachael Harris) on a road trip to find her husband's illegitimate son, Raymond (Matt O'Leary). After many years in a sexless marriage to the devout Abe (John Diehl) who has been making frequent donations to a fertility clinic instead of having sex with his barren wife and Linda only finds out about this extracurricular activity after Abe has a stroke during one of these donations. Natural Selection is a sly comedy that follows Linda on a journey of self discovery as she pushes her way into Raymond's life. Slowly, these two individuals learn to trust and care for one another on their journey.

What really struck me about Natural Selection was that this is a film about a devoutly christian woman that doesn't belittle her for her faith. No what is does is highlight just how misogynistic Christianity is. Much of Linda's life has been negatively impacted by Christianity as her marriage is based not on love but on guilt and regret and is being further degraded by a husband that refuses to make love to her because of the belief that she cannot have children. But her faith also gives her a sweet naivety that allows her to trust Raymond, when she finds him, when she really shouldn't. But it also allows these two people to connect in refreshingly original ways.



Natural Selection - SXSW 2011 Accepted Film

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