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by Mary Nyiri

Argentina/U.S.A. 2015
Directed by: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia
Writing credits: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia
Principal actors: Robin Bartlett, Rebecca Dayan, Will Janowitz, Julian Gamble
Length: 97 minutes

Filmed on location in the city of Troy, New York, this is a tale of two women with the same name, Helen. One Helen (Bartlett) is around 60 years old and is the proud new mother of a newborn baby doll that is so lifelike police break her car window when a passerby reports a baby left alone in a freezing car. Helen sets her alarm for 5 a.m. every morning so she can feed him. Her husband indulges her indulgence. The other Helen (Dayan) is pregnant with a real baby. She is the second half of an artist team with her boyfriend Alex (Janowitz). Their stories, with lots of allusions to Greek mythology and the story of Helen of Troy, weave through four chapters.

A strange phenomenon occurs in the city. Blinding bright light, was it a flaming meteor? Some people mysteriously disappear. One of those who disappears is the older Helen’s husband. She thought he was fishing with a friend, but after the strange phenomenon, she tries to get to the lake house where he was staying and it is blocked off by police. In the meantime, the pregnant Helen drives into the woods, abandons her car, and lies down in the snow. Later, dozens of people are found lying down, seemingly unconscious, in the woods. It’s a bit science fiction and a bit absurd comedy which is kept interesting by the convincing actors.