While this year’s AFI Fest boasted high profile titles like “The Big Short” and “Concussion,” there was one much smaller movie that really captured our attention: Celia Rowlson-Hall‘s “Ma.” Indeed, it captured moviegoers there too, with director Celia Rowlson-Hall taking the Breakthrough Audience Award prize. And while the movie doesn’t seem to have picked up U.S. distribution just yet, a terrific trailer has landed to give a taste.
In addition to helming the picture, Rowlson-Hall is the writer, director, and choreographer of the dialogue free movie that’s a modern day retelling of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage. Here’s the description from the festival:
Director Celia Rowlson–Hall uses her background as a choreographer to create MA, a modern–day retelling of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage. Here the Virgin figure is Ma (RowlsonHall), a lanky woman who emerges from the desert wearing only a T–shirt, cowboy boots and head towel. She falls in with a similarly lonesome man, and they spend the next few days acting out hyperbolic representations of masculinity, femininity, aggression and submission within a roadside motel room. In an admirably gutsy move, Rowlson–Hall has made the film dialogue–free, a decision that proves brilliant as the meticulously composed cinematography and wild, seething, push–and–pull choreography of the characters speak volumes. Rowlson–Hall peppers the film with recognizable indie faces and the lithe, graceful bodies of dancers to tell a story about gender, power and the bleak spaces of Americana. When Ma reaches her destination, it is nothing short of stunning.