Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{The Mirror Never Lies screens at SIFF June 10, 2:30pm at the Harvard Exit.}

I’m going to bang this out really quickly in the hopes that we can get it in front of your eyeballs in time for you to consider going to the last showing of this today. The Mirror Never Lies is a stunner. The story is lovely and moving, following a young girl and her mother who are both struggling, in different ways, to accept that the girl's father may have been lost at sea. It’s set in a place I knew nothing whatsoever about: a fishing village that quite literally stands, upon stilts, in the shallows of Wakatobi Sea (in Indionesia), so just observing the sets and the culture is, if you'll forgive the armchair tourism vocabulary, enlightening.

The movies follows the story with a quiet patience that’s all but unheard of, really in any medium, without ever being boring. It reminds me of the first half of The Black Stallion, where Alec and the Black are stranded on the desert island and your heart breaks with the beauty of it. The Mirror Never Lies is quiet and measured and it’s hard to know, when it begins, where any scene will go, but the film is unflaggingly mesmerizing for all that.

I’m not sure how to dole out credit for the pacing—probably the director, writers, and editor all deserve a share—but the most extraordinary achievement is the cinematography. Every shot, every frame, is breathtaking. You could fill a gallery just with frames from the movie. It’s also nuanced and varied. Some scenes have a filtered, Instagrammish quality, other parts are lush and saturated, and others are muted and soothing. I wanted to make an Oscar and send it to Rahmat Syaiful on the spot.

So forgive the untidiness of this post, but do yourself a favor and go catch this this afternoon. It’s a special one.