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Barely Breathing

Directed by Derek Evans and written by and starring Neal Reddy, BARELY BREATHING is a funny and heartwarming longform short film that skirts the lines of comedy and drama, but never takes itself too seriously. When a young man, played by Reddy, is found semi-naked and unconscious on the floor after an autoerotic asphyxiation episode gone wrong, he moves back in with his father and stepmother while he sorts his life out, which includes joining a support group for other autoerotic asphyxiation addicts.

BARELY BREATHING clocks in at a full-throated twenty minutes, which can be difficult for some festivals to program, but luckily, I was able to catch this movie twice recently. The first time was at the Boston Underground Film Festival and the second was at the Jacksonville Film Festival (which I had the pleasure of serving on the jury of this year). It doesn’t lag at any point or feel long, as the pacing was brisk, and I think the bits of humor throughout really helped to keep the movie flowing. The movie is also shot well, and the overall sound and score was clean, professional, and fit the tone of the movie throughout. The actors playing Reddy’s character’s parents were particularly fun to watch, and the other men in his support group were an equally as amusing.

With themes of love, loss, belonging, and isolation, being the headier themes throughout the movie, BARELY BREATHING addresses all of them with a tongue-in-cheek wink of awkwardness and delivers a touching pleasing experience from opening to closing credits.

Barely Breathing
Reviewed as part of the 2024 Jacksonville Film Festival
Barely Breathing | August 8, 2023 (United States) Summary: After an awkward masturbation accident, Sai is guilted into moving back in with his father, forcing them to bridge the chasm left by the death of Sai's mother years prior.
Countries: United StatesLanguages: English
Directing
Screenplay
Cinematography
Sound
Acting
4.8

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