By Solansh Moya on February 08, 2017
Clark’s tale about an ex-Goth nun facing her dysfunctional family.
Little Sister is a 2016 American dark comedy film written and directed by Zach Clark. The movie stars Addison Timlin as an ex-goth turned nun visiting her childhood home after the return of her brother from Iraq.
Colleen Lunsford (Timlin) ran away from her dysfunctional family three years ago, and found comfort among Brooklyn’s Sister of Mercy. She’s close to taking her final vows. However, Mother Superior (Barbara Crampton) has her doubts. She wonders if she’s ready, since Colleen has been spending her nights hanging around hipster performance artists. Then Colleen receives an e-mail from her manic-depressive mother, Joani (Ally Sheedy), in North Carolina; her brother, Jacob (Keith Poulson), has returned home from the Iraq war, with his face terribly disfigured from a landmine explosion. So, for the first time in three years, Colleen visits home, mainly to see her brother. Per Mother Superiors order, she has five days to figure things out.
Upon her arrival, she is immediately sucked into the dysfunctional family dynamic she left behind three years ago; Jacob hides in the guesthouse, angrily drumming and ignoring his fiancée, Tricia (Kristin Slaysman), and her parents, Joani and Bill (Peter Hedges) hide their problems behind their recreational drug use. Her room— black painted walls and a cross turned upside down—has been left untouched. Joani remarks, “Dad and I thought you’d become a lesbian Satanist,” disappointed that her daughter decided to become a nun.
Clark sets the film in 2008, during Obama’s first Presidential campaign, when hope and change was filtering the air. However, for the Lunsford family, these feelings were far from their radar. To get her brother out of his distressing funk, Colleen dyes her hair pink, paints her face, dismembers a doll, and lip-syncs to Gwar’s “Have You Seen Me.” How awesome is that?
Little Sister is an emotional film without the sappy sentiment, about many things: family relations, finding faith in a chaotic world, the connection between the personal feelings and the political, and how a war can change someone’s life forever. Overall, the movie is good, has an awesome soundtrack, and the actors did an excellent job. This movie was absolutely made for “the little goth girl in all of us,” as Clark calls it.