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The Independent Critic

Lizzie Lee, Lexi Butler, Joseph Steven Yang, Rachelle Henry, and Khoe Tyner
Jade Justad
16 Mins.

 "Creased" Screens at Seattle Shorts Film Festival 

Directed by Jade Justad, Creased centers around the practice of East Asian blepharoplasty, or "double eyelid surgery," a type of cosmetic surgery where the skin around the upper eyelid is reshaped to create a crease that does not occur naturally with a monolid eyelid. The film tells the story of Kayla (Lizzie Lee), an Asian-American high school senior at a predominantly white high school who is considering getting double eyelid surgery in an effort to better blend in. 

It is estimated that approximately 50% of Asians do not have an upper eyelid crease, a fact that leads to the not surprising fact that the double eyelid surgery is the third most common procedure requested by Asian-Americans. In the short span of the film's 16-minute running time, Jade Justad crafts an intelligent, emotionally honest film brought beautifully to life by the rather remarkable Lizzie Lee and the rest of the ensemble cast including Joseph Steven Yang, who is tremendous as her father, along with the wonderful Lexi Butler, Rachelle Henry and Khoe Tyner.

Justad nicely avoids giving the film an "afternoon special" kind of feeling, those old films one used to watch that would be intentionally shown after school and would target teens and young adults with life lessons, value stories and other life skill lessons. While those types of films had a purpose, Creased builds its lesson out of a naturally manifested story and plays much more authentically and realistically.

The film is screening this coming weekend as part of the Seattle Shorts Film Festival's Raising Awareness block of shorts. Even within the film's relatively short running time, I found myself tearing up a couple of times with Lizzie Lee's performance radiating an aching vulnerability and natural quality that will likely hit audiences even harder given the intense emotions of the recently finished election season.

For more information on the film, visit the film's website linked to in the credits. For more information on the Seattle Shorts FIlm Festival, visit the festival's website.  

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic