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The Independent Critic

Nathalie Soto Cuzin
James Dubbeldam
James Dubbeldam, Nolwenn Garcia
5 Mins.

 Movie Review: I Am_____ 
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By now, it's not really a secret that there are pros and cons to the world of social media. This is especially true for children on social media and, I'd dare say, even more true for teenagers on social media. This is the world we enter with James Dubbeldam's quick but effective short film I Am_____, an emotionally impactful and jarring exploration of one young girl's deep dive into the world of social media and the overwhelming desire to get "likes" and other expressions of approval. 

That young girl, played to tremendous impact by Nathalie Soto Cuzin, is introduced to us quickly as someone who is constantly recording herself and doing selfies which she immediately uploads to her social media. From fashion tips to social justice to a variety of other topics, she vacillates between entertaining enthusiasm and an increasingly fractured and disturbing persona. Coming in at just over five minutes, I Am______ wastes no time in getting to its point that this young lady's mental health is suffering even as she's completely unaware and willing to use even her own suffering if it means she'll be more popular. 

I've had the opportunity to review Dubbeldam's work before and it always seems to be rich with humanity and meaning. This film is no exception. Co-written alongside Nolwenn Garcia, I Am______ is the kind of powerful little short you expect to see at indie and microcinema fests. It's made even better by Cuzin's vulnerable and transparent performance. Filmed exclusively in the young girl's bedroom, I Am____ exudes both a sense of normalcy and the undeniable tension bubbling underneath the surface of this young teen's otherwise picturesque bedroom and environment. 

Original music by Cristian Marsella is effective throughout as is lensing by Griffin Edwards and Patty Soto's thoughtful production design. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic