dir. Alison Murray | 102 minutes | 2005 | narrative
Sherry (Ellen Page, Juno) is a 15-year-old punk kid in London who joins up with a nomadic cult called S.P.A.R.K. (Street People Armed With Radical Knowledge). Sherry adopts the group as her surrogate family, and travels with them across Europe until they eventually squat an old vineyard in Portugal. She loses her virginity and her illusions as she becomes drawn deeper into the group and discovers too late that S.P.A.R.K. isn’t exactly what it appears to be. Soon Sherry’s mother Rose (Natasha Wightman, V for Vendetta) tracks her down and attempts to rescue her but gets lured in by Harry, the extremely charismatic leader who convinces her that S.P.A.R.K, has more to offer than life as single mother living in London. Tensions come to a boil as Harry manipulates the S.P.A.R.K. kids with psychological game playing and brutal punishment. Two deaths ensure the submission of most of the group, but Sherry and her potential lover Mad Ax plan a daring escape. This intense psychological drama explores power dynamics and the deficiencies of human nature in an articulate and smart way, and serves as a warning against hierarchy and cult-of-personality.
Praise for Mouth to Mouth:
“Fierce and passionate… [Ellen] Page holds her own as a morose rebel taking to the streets, but it”s her co-star Max McCabe-Lokos, a startlingly expressive wiry misfit, who really breaks your heart” – The Daily Telegraph
“The film is ultimately successful in its quest to expose the impossibility of a perfect world…Mouth to Mouth manages to make the epiphany an affirmation of freedom.” – National Post
“This is a truly adventurous and original film. Alison Murray makes extraordinary shorts which combine her choreographic skills with a finely tuned sense of camera gesture and play. In her first feature, Murray extends this unique vision in a compelling story of a young woman’s experience with a modern cult. Mouth to Mouth urgently conveys the complex dynamics of an individual against the tribe, compassionately revealing both the seductions and the horrors of indoctrination and liberty.” – Atom Egoyan, Executive Producer