Superheroes

"Superheroes" is a wrenching two-hander about the scars of war.

With:
With: Dash Mihok, Spencer Treat Clark, Nancy Giles, Katie Workum, Margo Martindale, Kelly McAndrew.

“Superheroes” is a wrenching two-hander about the visible and less visible scars an Iraq vet attempts to live with, after his normal life is transformed into a portable battlefield of pain and regret. Dash Mihok’s top-notch perf as an erstwhile productive member of society and ex-family man reduced to just getting through the day, lends compassionately told tale its engaging moral center. Somber, affecting indie is a conversation-starter for folks who assume getting home in one piece is all that matters. War may be hell, but the personal aftermath can be purgatory.

Ben Patchett (Mihok) forms a wary, tentative friendship with earnest young video-maker Nick Jones (Spencer Treat Clark) at the VA outpatient group Nick tapes for internal use. Sensitive and courteous where Ben is medication-deadened and gruff, Nick agrees to accompany Ben on a change-of-routine vacation from Flushing, N.Y., to an isolated country retreat. Scripter/helmer Alan Brown uses shrapnel — which can remain buried or suddenly surface — as an apt metaphor. Nick’s ex-girlfriend’s strenuous dance rehearsals feel tacked on, but the dicey give and take between the two men draws viewers in and keeps them there.

Superheroes

Production: An ASAP Films presentation. (International sales: Agathe David-Weill, New York.) Produced by David-Weill, Steven Shapiro. Co-producers, John Kander, Michael Borrelli. Directed, written by Alan Brown.

Crew: Camera (color, Super-16mm/DV), Derek McKane; editor, Craig B. Weiseman; music, Paul Cantelon; production designer, Alexandra Brook Lynn; costume designer, Ellen Pittman Stockbridge. Reviewed at Avignon Film Festival (competing), June 21, 2007. Running time: 87 MIN.

With: With: Dash Mihok, Spencer Treat Clark, Nancy Giles, Katie Workum, Margo Martindale, Kelly McAndrew.

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