White Rabbit

Director: Daryl Wein
2018 | USA | 71m
GENRE: Arts & Literature | Asian/Pacific Islander | Black/African American | Comedy | Drama | Lesbian | Relationships | Romance | Theatre/Performance Art
SECTION: US Feature
Expected Guests: Director, Daryl Wein, Actor, Vivian Bang

Being an artist doesn’t necessarily pay the bills, particularly not for Sophia, a quirky Korean American performance artist in LA. When she’s not biking around the city doing humiliating Task Rabbit jobs for the upper crust, Sophia doggedly pursues her offbeat—and unprofitable—public art: yelling about race into a microphone while decked out in a white wig and onesie, or filming herself face down in mounds of food for her rarely watched YouTube videos.

Using a speaker to amplify her Valley Girl voice (even if it’s in a ridiculously faked Korean accent), Sophia is trying hard to be “heard,” but LA doesn’t seem to be listening. In a city where it’s sometimes easier to silently scream into the void, no wonder she seems desperate for a real connection. After late-night stalking of her ex on Instagram doesn’t pan out, Sophia falls for Victoria, a glam Ghanaian American photographer, and they bond over surprising cultural similarities. But will Sophia’s intensity and lack of tact ruin a good thing?

In Sophia, Vivian Bang (a performance artist who is the film’s producer and a co-writer of its delightful script) offers a funny, flawed, and likeably open character with a self-indulgent courage that’s somehow both endearing and cringe-worthy. A crowd pleaser at the Sundance Film Festival this year, White Rabbit is a refreshing dramatic comedy that not only shows the struggle of being a young artist, but also touches on issues of privilege and the truths that can arise from marginalized identities.

— ANGELIQUE SMITH