A Tender Lesbian Love Story That Finds The Universal In The Specific [TIFF]


At the center of “This Place” are Kawenniióhstha (Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs) and Malai (Priya Guns), two young women struggling with different complications about their fathers. Kawenniióhstha is searching for her father, an Iranian man who left her Mohawk mother for reasons she wants to find out. Meanwhile, Malai finds out that her father, an immigrant from Sri Lanka, is sick and likely doesn’t have a lot of time left on this earth. Despite the hardships the two of them are individually facing, they slowly find solace in each other thanks to a chance encounter at the laundromat and a missing notebook.

The scenes that the two share together are teeming with the awkwardness of first love. The way that Kawenniióhstha and Malai interact with each other feels authentic in a way that only young lesbians and sapphic women can truly feel – there is something there that makes you feel like you’re falling in love, but it’s hampered by the possibility that the woman next to you won’t feel the same. This is a palpable feeling that carries the rest of the film in an effective manner, as it helps to make up for the lack of scenes involving actual intimacy.



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