- Riot Girls
- Directed by Jovanka Vuckovic
- Written by Katherine Collins
- Starring Paloma Kwiatkowski and Madison Iseman
- Classification 14A
- 81 minutes
Back in 1995, a mysterious disease wiped out all the adults in fictional Potter’s Bluff, leaving only children and teens to rule the land. Or at least that’s what happened in the Riot Girls universe conceptualized by director Jovanka Vuckovic and writer Katherine Collins. Because in a world divided into East and West – regions rooted in freedom of expression and varsity-jacket-wearing fascism, respectively, it turns out the scariest scenarios are ones that transcend time, space and postapocalyptic reality.
Fortunately, we’re in good company with the film’s leads, Nat (Madison Iseman) and her girlfriend Scratch (Paloma Kwiatkowski), who are forced to venture to the East side to save Nat’s brother Jack (Alexandre Bourgeois). And from there, you never stop rooting for them.
Thanks to Iseman and Kwiatkowski’s heartwarming chemistry, Collins’s sharp dialogue and Vuckovic’s pointed direction, you find yourself running in step with two young women who are smart, interesting, brave and brilliantly capable. And that makes confronting the realities of their mission a little less terrifying.
Rooted in toxic masculinity, the West warns us all of what happens when power is wielded through abuse and discrimination. At least in Riot Girls, we have Nat and Scratch to keep us afloat. But you do leave the film asking yourself what any of us are doing to fight against those same things.
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