September 26, 2018 | ° F

Where I Begin


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On Saturday Oct. 22 The New Jersey International Film Festival will be screening the film Where I Begin. This movie is a dramatic tale of broken friendships, torn family ties and inner-personal struggle. A young man named Jacob returns to his small home town after being away for ten years. Upon his arrival, it becomes clear that the past is haunting him. The events of a terrible night many years ago plague Jacob, and the rumors of his alleged actions and his return spread through the small town like wild fire. As Jacob wanders the town and converses with a few friendly faces, he runs in to an old friend, a pretty young woman named Haddy. She seems to be one of the few people who doesn't judge Jacob and actually admires his decision to run away 10 years ago, as this parallels her own desire to leave the town. Throughout the film Jacob contemplates visiting his estranged mother while simultaneously avoiding his ex-best friend Tyler, the brother of the young woman who was the cause of Jacob's departure in the first place.

Where I Begin is a beautifully filmed picture. The camera acts a character in itself as it captures scenic shots of the run-down town in a hauntingly vivid and surreal manner. While some may think this film moves slowly, the steady pace benefits the movie. The use of close-ups and the long duration of focusing on certain character's face during scenes of intense emotions act to highlight each person's humanity in a way that the viewer is inadvertently sucked in.

What is interesting about this film is that it never tries to trick the viewer or confuse them on the issue.. The matter-of-fact way of presenting the scenes and revealing the information to the viewer is what causes the infatuation with the plot of the story.

While Where I Begin is not a ground breaking, astounding feature, it is a fine example of great filmmaking. Laudable acting from much of the cast, a captivating plot and good cinematography all work together to make this a movie worth watching.

Films are shown 7 p.m. in the Voorhees Hall Room 105 on the College Avenue campus. Tickets are $8 for Rutgers Film Co-Op/NJMAC friends, $9 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission. For more information about tickets, times, location and the entire schedule, visit

Alex Natanzon

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