Title: The Rainbow Experiment
Director: Christina Kallas
Starring: Connor Siemer, Lauren Sowa, Stratos Tzortzoglou
Runtime: 2 hrs 9 mins
What It Is: When a science experiment leaves a student hospitalized the rollercoaster of figuring out who is at fault ensues. Simultaneously the human experience is highlighted through behind the curtain scenarios that cause a ripple in our daily routine. Ones that ultimately become our sudden and unexpected downfall.
What We Think: Oddly enough, I had hoped to not like this film because off-the-bat it’s pretty chaotic and disorienting and doesn’t stick to traditional linear storytelling but this film is REVOLUTIONARY. The best way to look at this film is like a long-form poem, which is not easy for many of us to do. We like twists and turns but we also want it to be given to us straight, which the film refuses to do. The story follows the various working parts within the public high school education system. It aims to protect students from incompetent faculty but also reveals where the system fails to protect faculty from dangerous students. Someone is bound to get hurt and when kids are involved, parents especially, are out to blame and out for blood. Step-by-step we learn how what goes on in our personal lives or even what is instigated in our professional lives cannot simply be left at the door. And the acting? Skin-crawling for sure. The way some of the dialogue is executed almost feels like you’ve been hit in the chest or taken a serious blow to your own ego because we’re not used to rude but true words in our everyday lives.
Even more so, what is really fascinating about this film is the question is answered. Not how the accident happened, which the audience will be dying to figure out…but rather, what would have happened if the pieces that fell into place during the film all of the sudden didn’t happen that way? This piece is out of the ordinary, in its own league, and challenges what we know about the structure of the film in the most exciting way.
Our Grade: A-, I will say this film is painfully long. Back to the poem analogy…it screens like a long deep yoga breath taken between each stanza. However, the film tackles a bigger issue of how safety can be compromised in school and how it is not always the administration’s fault (wild concept, I know). It’s very Twilight-Zone-esque and requires a few mental gymnastics but it’s well worth the view.