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The Independent Critic

Dior Wilson, Trishauna Clarke, Blacka Di Danca
Isabella Issa
19 Mins.

 "Yellow Girl and Me" Wins Best Narrative Student Film at Indy Shorts 

A deeply and thought-provoking endeavor, writer/director Isabella Issa's AFI Thesis Film Yellow Girl and Me captured the $1,000 Best Narrative Student Film prize at the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival with its powerful story of a young girl, Nicole (Dior Wilson), who spends her 10th birthday waiting on her sister, Yellow Girl (Trishauna Clarke), to fulfill her promise of teaching her to swim. When Yellow Girl does not return home, Nicole begins to realize that she is next in life for a lifestyle of sexual abuse. 

Nicole decides to take matters into her own hands. 

Yellow Girl and Me is a riveting film, an emotionally honest journey inspired by a real-life friend of the filmmaker and a desire by the Jamaican filmmaker to have her home portrayed in a way that showcases the creativity and vibrance of its people. While the reality in Yellow Girl and Me is harsh and seemingly cyclical, so is the survival spirit and the humanity. 

Dior Wilson is simply extraordinary as Nicole, a young actress who gives a remarkably mature performance filled with intelligence and insight. There's a scene toward the end that is simply mesmerizing and Wilson brings it magnificently to life. 

As Yellow Girl, Trishauna Clarke's performance is filled with the ironclad facade created by a lifetime of victimization yet a softness still reached by the 10-year-old sister whom she obviously adores. It's a difficult performance and Clarke nails it. Black Di Danca is appropriately predatory as Javoy, a charismatic presence whose reality is far from charismatic. 

Lensing by Diego Trenas is effective throughout in creating an overwhelming sense of dread without ever losing that glimpse of humanity that creates survival, while John Lowell Anderson's original music is atmospheric and captures the film's dramatic highs and warm, intimate moments. Caitlin Ward's production design further sets a tone for the film. 

For more information on Yellow Girl and Me, visit the film's official website linked to in the credits. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic