Fantasia 2016: “Antibirth,” “A Conspiracy of Faith,” “Rupture”

“Antibirth” (2016, dir. Danny Perez)

Remember those kids in school who seemed to be drunk or stoned all of the time?  Natasha Lyonne and Chloë Sevigny surely remember, as their performances are spot on and hilarious.  Lyonne, in particular, is never without a bottle or a bong, even after it appears obvious to everyone but her that the monstrous growth in her belly is a much too-rapidly developing child.  Sadly, the pair are joined by fellow oddball Meg Tilly during the film’s final 30 minutes, and she has an entirely different energy than the rest of the cast, slowing the film down considerably whenever onscreen.  Still, you will want to stick it out, as this film ultimately proves to be a grossout romp like none other.

“Antibirth” screened at the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival on Friday, July 15, and was also a selection at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.


“A Conspiracy of Faith” (2016, dir. Hans Petter Moland)

Two siblings from a strict religious family are abducted under circumstances similar to a couple of earlier cold cases. Two investigators are on the case. One an Atheist. One a Muslim. This is essentially the X-Files except we are not looking for evidence of Aliens, but evidence of God. There’s really no more to it than that. The Truth may be Out There, but this film hasn’t found it.

“A Conspiracy of Faith” screened at the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival on Friday, July 15.

“Rupture” (2016, dir. Steven Shainberg)

This oddball low budget indie stars the excellent Noomi Rapace as a single mother (Renee Morgan) who is kidnapped and taken to a low-rent lab for mental and/or medical probing, prodding and otherwise peculiar study.  Though photographed beautifully by the always terrific Karim Hussain, the script can be a bit rough around the edges at points, sometimes slipping into the feel of a film school graduate thesis project.  Furthermore, director Steven Shainberg misses an opportunity to end the film on a powerfully chilling note, instead extending the story past the return of Renee to her home, and tacking on an unnecessary scene involving her relationship with her son.  Just the same, Rapace’s performance – as well as the film’s delightfully twisted twists – hold the viewer’s attention throughout.

The world premiere of “Rupture” took place at the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival on Friday, July 15.