The Fits: A strangely delicate look at the young generation’s premature perspectives

The Fits: A strangely delicate look at the young generation’s premature perspectives
03 junho 15:31 2016 Imprimir

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By Roger Costa

One of the greatest discoveries at this year’s Sundance, Anna Rose Holmer’s directorial debut “THE FITS” is a wonderful look at the current generation of pre-teens. Her sensitive lenses fully explore the strength of young actress Royalty Hightower playing 11-year-old Toni, an ambiguous tomboy trying to fit in and comprehend herself. At first we learn she’s determined to maintain herself healthy and in shape, as she practices all sorts of extreme activities at the gym among the boys. As she walks in school, listening through the hallways about an exciting dance contest she becomes seduced by the idea of competiveness and decides to exercise the other side of her talents. Structured as a mysterious coming-of-age story, the narrative observes her premature emotions focusing on the aspect of her almost silent confusion, suggesting she’s experiencing the anxiety of her hormones: she observes both boys and girls with the same level of curiosity and interest; somehow she’s trying to acquire both the eagerness of the boys and the sensibility of the girls.

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She also cultivates a decisive and devoted personality to achieve her goals, developing the same intensity to improve her dancing techniques, as she does with the gym training. Her brother advises her, “the only way you are not gonna lose the game, is if you don’t get on the ring”, but she must get on the ring in order to accomplish victory and understand herself, as well as a need of acceptance in school.

Supported by an astonishing and contemplative cinematography, the brilliant editing and a lively music, the film approaches a different territory, making room for imagination and suspense, as a series of sudden attacks start to surge in school, where a few girls enter an unconscious state of delirium while practicing their dance. Everyone is intrigued by the incidents, even authorities who rule the case as a drinking-water contamination. During one of these semi-fatal “fits”, a girl is passing out while a crowd surrounding her only records her agony with their cell phones. At this point the audience realizes that Anna Rose Holmer’s school/community drama goes further than a teenage story, presenting important social facts: it explores terrifying realities of modern society and how evolution is distorting the essentiality for children. Another alarming element is the absence of parents or a figure of protection- Toni, the protagonist, is always under the care of her brother, while other children are always called to their ‘foster parents’.

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Royalty Hightower gives a breakthrough performance, with incredible control of her emotional expressions, being able to communicate her desires simply with the focus on her deepen eyes. Director Holmer conceived a unique experience, a delicate and mysteriously profound study on the perspectives of the young generation.

THE FITS Opens Friday, June 3rd Exclusively at The Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, NYC. (Distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories)

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