Knives and Skin

Director: Jennifer Reeder
2019 | USA | 111m
GENRE: Black/African American | Drama | Lesbian | Musical | Mystery/Thriller | Queer | Sexuality | Youth (18 & Under)
SECTION: US Feature
Expected Guests: Director Jennifer Reeder, Actor Kayla Carter

Lies, rumors and regrets emerge when Carolyn, an awkward, bespectacled teen, goes missing after a late night out in a small Midwestern town. And as the mystery of her disappearance unravels, so do the carefully crafted personas of her mother, her friends, and the rest of the town’s residents.

With allusions to Heathers and Riverdale, Knives and Skin—a hit at both the Berlinale and Tribeca Film Festival—takes what is expected of a high school coming-of-age film (jocks, cheerleaders, frenemies, popularity problems, and fears of dying a virgin) and adds mysticism, deadpan snark, stoned grandmas, used panty purveyors, lecherous teachers, sad clowns, and a lesbian love affair that, oddly and somehow tenderly, begins through the trade of trinkets hidden in unexpected places.

Written and directed by Jennifer Reeder (Signature Move, Frameline41) and set to eerie choral arrangements of ‘80s hits from the likes of Cyndi Lauper, New Order, and The Go-Go’s sung by the characters, this refreshingly strange and visually-compelling mystery/thriller is all neon and darkness, taking typical teen disillusionment and channeling it into feminist rage, self-actualization, and empowerment.

— ANGELIQUE SMITH

SPONSORED BY
Territory Studio

CO-PRESENTED BY
Another Hole in the Head Film Festival / Roxie OUTlook

  • Premiere Status: Bay Area