The Young Kieslowski (Kerem Sanga, 2014)
The Young Kieslowski screens on Monday, October 13, Thursday, October 16, and Friday, October 17. Director Keren Sanga, among others, are scheduled to attend. More information can be found at the Chicago International Film Festival's website here. This is a capsule review. A full review will be published upon the film's United States theatrical release.
The Last American Virgin meets Obvious Child in Kerem Sanga’s The Young Kieslowski, a modest indie effort that explores the plight of two freshmen college students contending with an unwanted pregnancy. While The Young Kieslowski borrows concepts from the aforementioned two films, it does so without much of the sophistication that makes that representative of their genre. Sanga’s film is an unfortunate exercise in reasserting white-male dominance through anti-commitment. Its central character, Brian (Ryan Malgarini), epitomizes a mold of masculine degradation that’s detailed at length in A.O. Scott’s “The Death of Adulthood in American Culture”. Brian is the incessantly whiny nice guy who perpetually fails to accept responsibility for his actions, concealing his emotions behind a guise of pithy rejoinders. This would not necessarily be a bad thing if Sanga did not sacrifice Haley Lu Richardson’s role - rather, she resides as the sort of flighty and indecisive youth who yields to Brian’s faux-decisions.
Simply put, The Young Kieslowski is not necessarily lacking in progressive ideals, but instead adopts a set of regressive concepts that ultimately generate discomfort than humor.