The Sweet East
Director: Sean Price Williams Run Time: 104 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2023
Starring: Ayo Edebiri, Earl Cave, Gibby Haynes, Jacob Elordi, Jeremy O. Harris, Rish Shah, Simon Rex, Talia Ryder
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This equal opportunity offender directed by renowned indie cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Good Time, Her Smell) is a caustic satire of contemporary American culture. Talia Ryder (Never Rarely Sometimes Always) plays Lillian, a savvy South Carolina teen who walks away from her school trip to Washington, DC and ends up down the rabbit hole of East Coast political insanity. From an encounter with a bunch of antifa wannabes, to a sojourn with a Neo-Nazi Poe-obsessed literature professor (Red Rocket’s Simon Rex), to being cast off of the street in NYC by a pair of self-obsessed filmmakers (Edebiri and Harris), and beyond, Lillian rolls her eyes at everything and everyone while she tries to find some meaning—or, at the very least, interest—in all of the posturing and proselytizing she encounters. Prepare to have your liberal bubble burst.
“Textured with Williams’ usual grain and kept alive by his keen eye for detail, ‘The Sweet East’ essentially sees America as a series of concentric cults. Lillian is like a teenage Virgil leading us on a tour through some kind of stupid new hell where anyone who believes in anything does so with an all-defining religiosity that demands to be mocked.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire