A CRUEL SPARK ignites between Teresa and Irena – two gay men who identify (as if) with women – after their offers of a ménage-a-trois are rejected by their friend Billy. While their relationship enters self-destruct mode – the intergenerational couple are inclined to provide help and support to two female students from the unlicensed ESL class that they run out of their Flatbush apartment.
Shot in a brutalist style in black and white — the film adopts the look of Polish films from the communist era to examine some probable ingredients of USA fascism.
X E N O P H I L I A is an antidote to the contemporary propaganda movie – it tries to stand up to films like American Sniper as a lone and knowing target.
The film plays with exposing and embedding complexes – it uses the vacuum of an untold story as it’s root story – and shows A SLICE OF LIFE around one person’s feeling of self-exile, while trying to encounter all the characters’ voids. Unable to say or think that “she is important” becomes Danka’s [Danusia Trevino] main labyrinth while she slowly sinks deeper into performing the very roles that she thought she escaped – a Polish immigrant living in the frozen zeitgest of her country at the time of her emigration.
Irena [Jim Fletcher] is an ESL teacher who is being pulled so strongly by desire for their younger love interest Teresa [Stiven Luka] – that they try on parts of each others’ identity.
“Pity this thing doesn’t record reactions while watching because I reacted very physically somehow .. I got into it in the English lesson, on the first joke, and I go into the cramped zooms, and it is great fun to let yourself be led to the unexpected results of the scene. This is a playful spectacle and somehow it always withstands it’s own weightiness. Danka blessedly dishes out some sort of absolutes, like I’ve never before seen, Jim is wonderful as a terrible hagfish… everyone also … Kambiz! man. . fun upto the armpits but still much gnashing of teeth in the sense of seriousness, and weighty topics! I sometimes looked away, sometimes wrote back to text messages without the feeling of missing out. A strangely Fassbinderesque love scene- its development- the final light on the spine. All unexpected. For me these things like the hair on the floor, the “rat,” and as it later develops – the talk on the toilet, there are some amazing, if social points (check the hierarchy) suddenly a takeover of desires of the lesser sort these weaker, but nonetheless desires like the desire for shit. do not laugh. It’s a cult movie, yes, I do not know for whom, for me yes, will it stir shit up? I’m curious to see how people will react to the aesthetics … ”