A Million Miles Away by Jennifer Reeder

A woman on the verge of a breakdown and a pack of teen girls experience a supernatural coming-of-age.

Filmmaker Jennifer Reeder tells the story of a substitute teacher who comes in to lead an afternoon rehearsal for a high school girl’s choir.

A 15-year-old girl recites Eleanor Roosevelt to an E.T. figurine. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Meanwhile, a two girls talk about the mundane to the reason her brother has a padlock door on his room. The conversation turns serious as they reveal the troubles in their families.

Another girl sings Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

The next day, school begins. An insecure substitute teacher, Ms. Crystal Chambers, writes her innermost thoughts in her diary. She recites to herself that she’s likeable and strong and that she loves herself.

The girls walk in. As Ms. Chambers takes attendance, she makes awkward jokes to try to lighten the mood. But it just further reveals her insecurities.

She calls for Margaret, who is crying in the corner, then lashes out at her.

They begin to warm-up. As the girls whisper to each other, we can see what they say.

As they sing, Ms. Chambers begins to break down in tears. When the girls ask her, she reveals she had dated a guy who sent her the text, “WDHAICAWNWSIABUWYFAIAILWSE.” She doesn’t know what it means.

A girl tells her. “We don’t have anything in common and we never will, so I am breaking up with you forever — and I am in love with someone else.”

Silence.

The girls try to make up excuses to make her feel better.

Another girl tells her to respond with, “YGATC,” or “You’ve got another thing coming.” Ms. Chambers cracks a smile.

The girls ask if she’s coming back tomorrow. She tells them she was supposed to have a date. So they ask her to come back if she doesn’t.

Ms. Chambers goes back to writing in her diary about the girls.




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