It’s 1988. On the surface, Kat’s home life seems perfect. A normal, college-bound teenager, she listens to Depeche Mode, hangs out with her tragically hip pals, and is critical of her parents. She’s also having her first romance with, literally, the boy next door and is starting to feel comfortable in her own skin—all under the watchful eye of her glamorous, but disturbed, homemaker mother. When her mother mysteriously vanishes, Kat and her father suppress their emotions and try to resume their lives. Years later, Kat’s subconscious is consumed by images of her mother, whose peculiar disappearance she can’t fully comprehend.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Laura Kasischke, White Bird in a Blizzard tells the story of a girl coming of age under unusual and traumatic circumstances. Shailene Woodley, as Kat, commands the screen with the allure of a young woman embracing her sexuality and beginning to understand the power that accompanies it. Veteran filmmaker Gregg Araki uses a carefully curated soundtrack to build a tantalizing dream world and contrasts it with the stark reality of the characters who inhabit it, indicating all is not right beneath this placid façade of American suburbia. - K.Y.
About the Director
Gregg Araki earned an MFA in cinema production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and a BA in film studies from UC Santa Barbara. His films have screened at the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, and New York. Araki has made 10 independent features, including Kaboom (2011), Smiley Face (2007), Mysterious Skin (2005), Splendor (1999), Nowhere (1997), The Doom Generation (1995), Totally F***ed Up (1994), and The Living End (1992). All of them have screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
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