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Are You With Me? – by Erica Genereux Smith

A sweet, ironic and sincere exploration of modern solitude (at a call center)

2016 | 5 - 10 | Drama | Experimental | Solitude | USA

After the good result of Night Life (2015), Erica Genereux Smith keeps talking about modern tragedies. In fact, the leading character of Night Life was a lonely girl, looking for a job, attached to her juvenile dreams and with a messy private life. In Are You With Me? we see the twenty-something Melissa struggling with financial problems. Because of that, she decides to take a job at a call center, likely one of the most famous hell on earth for the western elite.

The disturbing scene, or, we should say, deliciously disturbing, is the segment of the job interview. You can’t help but feel pleasure hating Melissa’s future boss, the so-called Frances (with a really questionable look). Her main phrase can really turn us on: “[…] The people that are calling you, are responding to a pop-up ad, which means they’re not very bright […]“.  Who among us has never imagined a life exactly like this within a call center? Hundreds of employees who call us during the most unlikely hours of the day, to ask things about you, so they can understand what we may be missing and how we can get it. Not their fault, nor of all Frances who run these environments, benefiting an annoying system, unnecessary and degrading.

The American director show us another face of solitude. Melissa takes a wrong choice because it seems the only possible to her. Beautifully shot, the scenes are simple, without too many intricate mechanisms, but absolutely effective. The soundtrack, then, does nothing but make the anguish palpable.

Marta Zannoner

Marta Zannoner

Aspirante scrittrice, osservo la realtà spesso distrattamente. Per questo ricorro ai film, per prestare attenzione.

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