Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Cusp follows three teenage girls through one summer in their Texas town.
Directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt have given us a snapshot reminder of what it’s like to be a female adolescent. We watch as these girls make impulsive decisions, like getting a piercing, and partaking in underage drinking and recreational drug use. However, Hill and Bethencourt have done more than simply scratch the surface of American girlhood, thanks to their subjects.
Brittany, Autumn and Aaloni speak honestly about their life: past, present and dreams of their future. Through nights partying around a campfire or chilling in a room, they open up and discuss their harrowing experiences. We listen, and sometimes bare witness, to issues within their household. We observe them speak and experience a range of mental, emotional, verbal and physical abuse. At its most heartbreaking are the stories of sexual violence some of them have endured.
Through listening and witnessing to Brittany, Autumn and Aaloni, we see the complexity of femininity and resilience of girlhood. Overall, Cusp is a rewarding, difficult watch.
Cusp screens at Sundance:
Live Premiere: January 30 at 6 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): February 1 at 10 AM (EST)