EXEC PROD Harvey SIlver
PROD Nathan Silver
SCR Nathan SIlver, Kia Davis
CAM David Dahlbom
EDS Nathan Silver, Kia Davis, Cody Stokes
PROD CO Konec Films
Enlisted as a live-in aide for elderly Florence, 19-year-old Elena (Kia Davis)—an untested, meek nursing assistant—unwittingly finds herself deemed the miracle cure for an entire family’s dysfunctions. Anointed new best friend to Florence’s oppressive daughter-in-law Cindy (Cindy Silver), she’s toted along to Zumba studios and public pools. And, when lovelorn grandson Nathan (director Nathan Silver) returns home in a state of self-diagnosed “personal agony,” he views Elena—and her romantic interest—as something that he’s entitled to.
One of the rising stars of American independent cinema (we’re also showing another of his films, Soft in the Head), Silver employs both improvisation and invention in this accomplished effort. Throwing himself, his mother and girlfriend into the mix as cast members, he likewise transforms the family home into a pressure cooker of angst and desire. All of this culminates in precisely the sort of claustrophobic, charged atmosphere in which awkward comedy can flourish. The words "you’re part of our family now" have seldom been more unsettling.
"Exit Elena adopts many working methods typical of a Cassavetes production… But its affinity with a film like Love Streams, its closest likeness, runs deeper than their shared independent sensibility. Silver locates the ordinary madness bubbling just beneath the surface of his own life, and flickers of lunacy abound…”—Calum Marsh, Village Voice