Soft in the Head
EXEC PROD Harvey Silver
PRODS Nathan Silver, Lynn Truong
SCR Nathan Silver, Kia Davis, Cody Stokes
CAM Cody Stokes
EDS Cody Stokes, Nathan Silver
PROD CO Konec Films
An accident that can’t wait to happen, Natalia (Sheila Etxeberría) displays an arsonist’s flair for burning bridges. We’re introduced to this stumbling, slurring force of nature as her abusive boyfriend tires of knocking her around and kicks her to the curb instead. Natalia’s latest bender next sends her careening through a friend’s Shabbat dinner—at which she shamelessly flirts with an autistic brother—before landing her in a shelter run by the exceedingly understanding Maury (Ed Ryan)—where she delights in stoking the residents’ collective lust to a fever pitch.
In an Indiewire interview prior to shooting, director Nathan Silver boldly asserted, “Movies should not be made from paper, but from people.” In this vein, his film draws inspiration from Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot but foregoes a traditional script. Instead, events hinge on the emotional chaos wrought by this young woman for whom belligerence is bliss. Enticingly mimicking Natalia’s tottering gait, Silver’s film shifts its attention between the characters left in her wake but never loses its incisiveness or focus.
“Soft in the Head vividly portrays both the world of the men who depend on Maury’s charity (they are a squabbling bunch who recall the inmates in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and also the contrasting, sheltered realm of Orthodox Judaism… [The film] confirms Silver’s talent and his status as one of the most interesting emerging directors in US indie film.”—Nick Dawson, Filmmaker