East End Film Festival: High Fantasy review - botched high-concept drama
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Jenna Bass' body-swap teen drama is too blunt to cut deep. Cobbling together spare parts from other cultural properties can work wonders, and director Jenna Bass clearly understands that. High Fantasy, her second feature, pot-boils stark South African vistas, teen drama, found-footage, and a fantastical body-swap drama to spice up the mixture. Each component, however, is neglected in its own right; Bass has merely thrown them together in the hopes that they will create satisfying cinema. They don't. South African teen Lexi embarks on a camping trip to her family's farming estate in the country's barren desert. She invites friends to join her and a clashing of ideologies commences. Xoli, Lexi's black friend, is passive-aggressively incensed by the colonialist means by which Lexi's family still has control of the land. Tatiana is a diplomatic - and consequently meek, largely docile - foil to the strong personalities populating the rest of the group. And tagging along for the ride is braggadocious Thami, whose sexist language doesn't entirely deter the others from connecting with his more boyish charms. The group wakes up one morning to find that each now inhabits the body of another person.
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