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IMITATION GIRL review


Science fiction is a speculative form of storytelling that's often concerned with what it means to be human. In that vein IMITATION GIRL is a brilliantly crafted philosophical journey that gives viewers far more questions than answers. Imitation (Lauren Ashley Carter) is an alien who falls from the sky and lands somewhere in the southwestern United States. She finds an image of Julianna (Lauren Ashley Carter) an adult film actress and takes on her form. The film is the parallel stories of two individuals trying to figure out exactly who they are. 

Imitation is somewhat devoid of self-awareness and has no idea where she is. Each piece of information she gathers is a revelation as she acclimates to her new body and environment. Saghi, and his sister, Khahar, take in Imitation. They perceive her to be a harmless simpleton. Gesture-based communication and pieces of sustenance are their lone methods of communication. However, Imitation is exceptionally responsive to these interactions and soon figures out how to talk both English and Farsi, in the meantime, Julianne is wading through life. There is a clear emptiness in her existence that would be sad on its own, but when juxtaposed with that of her doppelganger, it's downright tragic. Not her lifestyle per say, but the clear absence of joy.  

First time director, Natasha Kermani's film is a delicate story about the journey to define one's self and how our limitations are nothing more than perception. Imitation is able to navigate life without prejudgment, ready to make choices with none of the ordinary societal weights. Julianne is a long way from who she wants to be, but she sees herself as trapped. She desperately desires change and wants to feel... something new. She has turned sex into a meaningless job that pays well but ultimately gives her little pleasure. Drinking and drugs don't seem to do the trick either. She is completely held back by her own self-image and by how she assumes the world sees her.

The best science fiction provides a guide for understanding the world we inhabit. It can give us the cognitive framework within which we can explore what it means to be a sentient being in the face of change. Despite an outlandish plot, realistically drawn characters from Lauren Ashley Carter give IMITATION GIRL an exceedingly grounded tone. This is a beautifully fucked up little gem of a film that proudly wears its imperfections. 


IMITATION GIRL hits VOD on March 16th, with theatrical screenings in select cities across the U.S. on April 20th through Epic Pictures’ genre label Dread Central Presents.

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