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In Diablo Valley, California a complacent community struggles to adapt to a changing world where global chaos looms and threatens to alter life as they know it. As troubling worldwide disasters accelerate and reach into a complacent community, a brother and sister grapple with being abandoned by their father and the powerful presence of their mother\'s new boyfriend. The siblings are forced to take control of the chaos around them and reinvent everyone\'s lives.
Nineteen-year-old Pam Wu remembers her absent father with longing. She and 8-yearold Timothy live with their mother, Saura, who buries the shame of her husband\'s desertion by succumbing to the lustful attention of her younger boyfriend Wendell. Still, Saura can\'t conceal a bitter nostalgia for her youth, a time when she had love and purpose.
Pam is a 19-year-old girl living with her 8-year-old brother, Timothy, and her mother, Saura. Pam misses her father who suddenly disappeared. Saura still suffers the pain of being deserted by her husband. She tries to compensate for her lost youth and lost love. She obsesses over her young boyfriend, Wendell. Pam has a friend, Scott, Korean adoptee who was adopted by a devout American Christian family. As Scott goes and focuses on his own love, Pam starts feeling lonely because she very much used to depend on Scott.
Half-Life is the directorial debut feature by Jennifer Phang, an Asian-American director who graduated from AFI. This film starts with scenes of violence that has abruptly broken out around the world; a natural disaster has occurred and there seems to be no reasonable cause. There is a sense of doom among the people in the California. This aura of doom is a factor that plays an important role in the film. In our age of uncertainty, through delicately-tailored nuanced visuals, Phang delivers fear, compassion, and desire, and gives us characters who live with anxiety and feelings of being lost and whose only urge is to run away. The fascinating colors, the camera angles, and the adventurous ways of using computer graphics and animations to portray the fantasy mix of anxieties and desires of the protagonists, demonstrate this young director’s extraordinary talent – talent that is rarely seen these days. (KWON Eun-sun)
Jennifer PHANGJennifer PHANG
A Berkeley-born daughter of Chinese-Malaysian and Vietnamese heritage, Jennifer Phang is a graduate of the MFA directing program at the American Film Institute. She received AFI’s Holleigh Bernson Memorial Award and the Dreamworks World Studio Foundation Scholarship. Her thesis film Love Ltd., a suburban dramedy, was screened at over thirty international film festivals and is co-distributed by Hypnotic, NAATA, and Frameline.