There’s nothing as sweet as discovering the inner cults behind modern America. Or so it seems to acclaimed cinematographer Sean Price Williams, who makes his directorial debut with twisted coming-of-age dramedy “The Sweet East” that stars a who’s who of millennial–Gen Z talent.
Written by Nick Pinkerton, “The Sweet East” follows a high school senior Lillian (Talia Ryder) who hails from South Carolina and gets her first glimpse of the wider world on a class trip to Washington, D.C. Separated from her schoolmates, she embarks on a fractured road trip in search of America. Along the way, she falls in with a variety of strange factions, each living out their own alternative realities in our present day.
Featuring everything from Nazi rallies to pedophile rings, “The Sweet East” was deemed “unhinged” by IndieWire critic David Ehrlich, who reviewed the film out of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Ehrlich wrote, “Williams is an acclaimed cinematographer whose free-range, scuzz-core aesthetic has become synonymous with several of the most bitter and/or feral independent films of the last 15 years (e.g., ‘Frownland,’ ‘Heaven Knows What,’ anything directed by ‘The Sweet Eas’” producer Alex Ross Perry), but if you didn’t know any better, you could almost be fooled into thinking that his directorial debut might owe more to Richard Linklater than the Safdie brothers.”
Ehrlich continued, “Textured with Williams’ usual grain and kept alive by his keen eye for detail, ‘The Sweet East’ essentially sees America as a series of concentric cults. Lillian is like a teenage Virgil leading us on a tour through some kind of stupid new hell where anyone who believes in anything does so with an all-defining religiosity that demands to be mocked. In real life, it’s the stuff of modern American myth, but in the bizarro world of ‘The Sweet East,’ every liberal punchline is taken at face value, and every morsel of progressive logic is treated like a joke.”
Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry produces “The Sweet East” along with Craig Butta and Alex Coco. Jimmy Kaltreider and David Kaplan serve as executive producers, with Utopia distributing.
“The Sweet East” premieres December 1 at the IFC Center in New York, followed by a national rollout. Check out the trailer below.
– Armessa Movie News