During a routine trip to the mall, 15-year-old Jesse's best friend is violently attacked at random. The attackers do not confront or acknowledge Jesse, and Jesse does not engage or pursue the attackers...he simply backs away. Why did this happen? Could Jesse have done more? Did he have an obligation? These are the questions posed by VIOLET, a carefully calibrated character study of the process of coping in the midst of senseless trauma. Jesse's parents and friends all seem to have their own (often destructive) reactions to the incident, but it's the parents of the victim to whom he develops a strange connection. Shot partially on 8-perf 65mm film by acclaimed cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis (Bullhead, The Drop), Bas Devos' meticulously calculated debut is constructed like a series of lush photographs. In each of the film's compositions we see a sophisticated mosaic of loss, the permanence of trauma, and the tumult of youth.
- May 12, 2017