Cinematographer Anna Rose Holmer makes a thought provoking feature film directing debut with the story of Toni (the unforgettably named Royalty Hightower) an 11 year-old girl who spends her days hanging out at the boxing gym with her brother (Da’Sean Minor), but yearns to join the local girls dance troupe.
Set in Cincinnati, the film takes a surreal turn when girls on the dance squad start suffering seizures with varying symptoms. Exactly what is happening to the girls is never really explained, apart from some theorizing that it’s got something to do with the drinking water. The seizures could also be symbolic of each girl’s struggle to make it in society and the obstacles keeping them from being successful despite their drive and talent. Or, it could be each character coming into a new stage of adolescence in strange and unique ways. Or, as stated before, it could just be the water.
It’s the sort of movie that will spark many theories and opinions, none of them entirely right or wrong. Holmer has made a majestic looking, rather short (71 minutes) movie that will have you thinking about it for days after. Hightower is a real talent, who absolutely shines in the lead role. It’s a unique movie for sure that will frustrate some, and enchant many others.