Psychic

By Dana Sorman | Drama
A woman visits a psychic for a palm reading. But it takes an unexpected turn.

Benji is a young woman dealing with a lot on her plate. An aspiring actress and comedian, she's stuck in her job as a reception. She's broke and in debt. And she's also question if any of it matters.

She decides to see a psychic, but the session turns into a confrontation of past traumas. Benji must then decide to make some difficult decisions about her life and future, but how far is she willing to go to make a change in her fortunes?

Writer-director Dana Sorman, who also took on the lead role, has crafted a sharp personal drama about what it means to be at a precipice in life, to face the abyss -- and see your own reflection in it.

The writing is unflinching and unwilling to sugarcoat anything, both in the difficulties Benji faces and the role she plays in them. But the emotional intensity is also leavened with moments of sharp comedy, and the saturated colors, well-paced editing and vivid photography create energy and a sense of "unreality" that is just a bit uncanny.

Terrific performances go a long way as well, and Sorman Saideh Rifai, who plays the psychic, have a compelling give-and-take that captures the uniquely vulnerable dynamic that a psychic offers: she's essentially a stranger who knows nothing but hears everything. What transpires between this particular pair goes deep, forcing Benji to confront herself and make choices about how to live her life.

"Psychic," which debuted at Marfa Film Festival, is about growth, courage and lifting the veil of self-delusion that we sometimes put over ourselves to insulate from pain, sadness and fear. With feisty intelligence and wit, this short captures the moment when this veil can be ripped away, and we can either retreat or rise to the challenge.




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