SXSW 2015 Review: KRISHA

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, this devastating, but outstanding film deserves worldwide attention for its superb writing and direction, and for its superb performances by the cast, particularly Krisha Fairchild who stars in the title role.  Loosely based on real experiences, the film tackles the issues of addiction and the negative effects it can have on a family.  It also portrays how things can turn considerably ugly when that negativity elicits angry and counteractive responses from those affected by it.  Shults has made an amazing film that deserves the awards it received for Best Narrative Feature by both the Audience and Grand Jury voters.

Thanksgiving has arrived and a seemingly content family has gathered to celebrate.  This year, estranged relative Krisha will be joining the festivities and promises to help prepare a feast no one will ever forget.  Krisha sees this moment as a golden opportunity to reconnect with her loved ones and seek their forgiveness for her major missteps of the past.  As the day progresses, though, Krisha’s demons surface and the temptation to drown them in alcohol and pills becomes irresistible.  As she spirals out of control, Krisha’s family lashes out and adds fuel to an already out-of-control inferno.

I was completely floored by this incredible and agonizing film.  Shults delivers a blow to the heart that will leave audiences in tears and hurting for hours afterward.  Anyone who has had any experience with addiction or has had a loved one struggle with it will know the material all too well and will be left heavyhearted in its wake.  With this debut feature, Trey Edward Shults should recognized as brilliant new filmmaker capable of extraordinary work.  I sincerely hope that Krisha Fairchild doesn’t get overlooked either, as her stunning performance deserves worldwide recognition as well.



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