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The Independent Critic

Leilani Gobaleza, Nathalie Soto Cuzin
James Dubbeldam
6 Mins.

 Movie Review: Your Worst Enemy 
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James Dubbeldam's intriguing and thoughtful 6-minute short film Your Worst Enemy is a slightly experimental film that declines to explain itself and invites the viewer into the journey of Mia (Leilani Gobaleza), a young woman we first meet as she's appearing face-to-face with the ocean in an obvious degree of disttress with fear worn across her face. 

Rather than explain this situation away, Your Worst Enemy is a film without dialogue that demands we pay attention to intercut scenes and scenarios with each involving Mia and each slowly revealing pieces of her story. 

As Mia appears on the verge of facing something unexplained, she observes her belongings being stolen by a woman in a pink hoodie. Despite giving chase, the woman gets away only to be seen later dumping Mia's belongings. Left without the majority of her items, the swimsuit-clad Mia spies a vendor (Nathalie Soto Cuzin) and the two make a meaningful exchange. 

The exact meaning of Your Worst Enemy is left open to interpretation, somewhat obvious and yet somewhat also left open to one's perception. Gobaleza gives an understated performance as Mia, never quite revealing her story yet also being emotionally transparent. In support, Nathalie Soto Cuzin is also quite engaging and in a brief appearance gives the film an extra layer of emotional resonance. 

Your Worst Enemy is one of Dubbeldam's more experimental efforts with lensing suggesting parallel experiences and lensing that leans into this idea from Paul Kottis. Because the film is without dialogue, Kottis's lensing is essential and effective. 

Dubbeldam has never been afraid to experiment with film and always creates film that challenge emotionally and intellectually. Your Worst Enemy is no exception and this unique indie flick should please fans of the more experimental side of indie shorts. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic