06/17/15 8:25am
by |
06/17/2015 8:25 AM |

photo courtesy of Good Neighbors Media

Jennifer Phang’s Advantageous takes place in a future with many familiar aspects, both social (extreme wealth stratification, unrest among the politically powerless) and technological (privately owned surveillance drones, nonhuman tech-support operators). The most speculative aspect of the film is grounded in similarly resonant circumstances. Star and cowriter Jacqueline Kim plays Gwen, a corporate-exec single mother about to be let go by her bosses at the “Center for Advanced Health and Living” just as she’s struggling with the costs of educating her world-weary but fearsomely gifted daughter Jules (Samantha Kim)—the right private schools are the only way anyone knows of setting a kid up for an adulthood of material self-sufficiency, let alone happiness. Gwen is, however, presented with the option of becoming the first public face of the Center’s new product, a consciousness-transfer into a donor body (without giving too much away, the big-eyed actress Freya Adams is identified as a face of the future as Gwen leafs through an album of head shots). An affecting mother-daughter indie drama with an engrossing philosophical hook and dystopian details, Advantageous plays at BAMcinemaFest on June 21, and opens at Cinema Village on June 26. Phang answered some questions of mine over email.