By Eric Schuman | Drama
An isolated sick girl and a curious boy strike up a hidden relationship at a roadside motel.

Russ lives and works at a roadside motel, which is run by his parents. It’s a quiet life, but when a sick girl named Beverly arrives, along with her mother, Russ becomes fascinated by the pair.

He befriends the girl, but Beverly’s Mom intervenes. Russ tried to keep his connection to Beverly going, but their secret friendship only leads to heartbreak, in a way he never expected.

Directed by Eric Schuman and written by Inger Dietrichs and Eric Schuman, this short drama conjures a powerful atmosphere of tension and disquiet, aided by a strong script and compelling performances, especially by the two young leads, Gio Schwab and Nicolina Marra. Intelligent, intimate camerawork captures their loneliness and longing for connection, as well as the insular existences they both long to break out of.

“Proxy” is essentially a coming-of-age tale about two young people trying to strike out into the larger world with some degree of autonomy and independence. But the film is enriched by its fascinating study of illness, power and vulnerability, creating a powerful sense of mystery that propels viewers forward. Quiet, intense and foreboding, the storytelling gives up its secrets slowly, and when the final puzzle pieces fall into place, the resulting conclusion is haunting and powerful.

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