Tribeca 2022: We Might As Well Be Dead **½

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 18, 2022)

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We might as well be deadpan. Natalia Sinelnikova’s (political satire? black comedy? psychological thriller?) was a puzzler for me.  Or maybe it caught me on a bad day. An insular community of apartment building residents turn on each other after one resident’s dog goes missing. The building’s live-in security person (Ioana Iacob) desperately tries to corral the creeping paranoia and hysteria.

Her stress is exacerbated by her daughter, who has locked herself in the bathroom and informed Mom that she has “the evil eye” and is cursed by effective thoughts and dreams. While Sinelnikova and co-screenwriter Viktor Gallandi make intriguing allusions to Stasi-era East Germany and the Jewish diaspora, the film never gels; at best, it’s a glorified remake of the Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”.

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