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Stress Positions

Country: United States, Language: English, 95 mins

  • Director: Theda Hammel
  • Writer: Faheem Ali, Theda Hammel, Theda Hammel
  • Producer: Brad Becker-Parton, Allie Jane Compton, John Early, Greg Nobile, Stephanie Roush

CGiii Comment

Terry Goon is keeping strict quarantine in his ex-husband’s Brooklyn brownstone while caring for his nephew — a 19-year-old model from Morocco named Bahlul — bedridden in a full leg cast after an electric scooter accident. Unfortunately for Terry, everyone in his life wants to meet the model.

Stress Positions is as much a finely tuned time capsule of the frantic fear and formative power of the pandemic as it is a road map out of dark places guided by a profound humanity. A careful balance between a consistent, razor-sharp humor and the development of a distinctive cinematic tone create a particular mood and energy that is not easily forgotten.

Returning to the Sundance Film Festival after her 2021 appearance as writer-director and star of the Episodic My Trip to Spain, Theda Hammel once again proves herself to be a prolific powerhouse with her directorial debut. Hammel’s clever script, energetic performance, confident directorial style, and beautifully crafted score come together in an exciting whirl of charisma and social commentary. John Early (at Sundance with My Trip to Spain in 2021 and Save Yourselves! in 2020) delivers a hilariously tense performance among a talented young cast. Stress Positions at once ratchets up raw nerves and also helps us release them.—AH


Cast & Characters

John Roberts
John Early
Theda Hammel
Amy Zimmer
Qaher Harhash
Faheem Ali