- 1h 32m
In the lazy days of a Texas summer, three teenage girls navigate friendship, relationships, and toxic masculinity as they make the transition to the adult world.In the lazy days of a Texas summer, three teenage girls navigate friendship, relationships, and toxic masculinity as they make the transition to the adult world.In the lazy days of a Texas summer, three teenage girls navigate friendship, relationships, and toxic masculinity as they make the transition to the adult world.
Couple of comments: this is the feature length debut of co-directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt. They had seemingly unfettered access to the three girls and their circle of friends, family and acquaintances over the entire summer. A very disturbing picture emerges, as we watch how these girls and the people around them seemingly have no hope of anything positive happening in their lives. (Along the way we learn that all three girls have been used, abused, and molested or raped, either by a close family friend or a so-called boyfriend.) And what to make of these guys hanging out with them, ever ready to pounce? At some point one of the girls mentions that their friend Nina was raped by a (boy)friend). Comments one of the guys: "but they were both intoxicated, so it couldn't have been rape". SAY WHAT??? Also noteworthy: not a single of the young people or the grown-ups we see in this documentary appears to have a job. Not one. Ultimately the documentary is dark, very dark. It frankly represents the essence of American 21st century nihilism. The film makers do a terrific job of capturing it, warts and all. The documentary makes at times for difficult viewing, but really demands and captures your attention. As for the negative reviews on here, please note that the term "toxic masculinity" is NOT mentioned in the documentary itself. Also, these so-called reviewers are unwilling or unable to distinguish between the topic covered by the documentary (which they hate), versus whether the documentary itself is any good (in fact's it's very good--there is a reason this is currently rated 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes).
"Cusp" premiered at this year's Sundance Festival to positive buzz. It started airing on Showtime last weekend, and is now available on SHO On Demand (where I caught it last night). If you are interested in getting a sense of what life without meaning looks like in this country and in this era, I'd readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.
- Dec 1, 2021