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First, Last and Deposit (2000)

Cast: Jessica White, Jessica White, Don Margolin, more...
Director: Peter Hyoguchi, Peter Hyoguchi
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Vanguard Cinema
Genre: Drama, Independent
Running Time: 92 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

A woman hoping to make a better life for her family is plunged into a brutal cycle of poverty in this independent drama. Single mother Christine (Sara Wilcox) and her 13-year-old daughter Tessa (Jessica White) have relocated to California from Arizona after Christine's boyfriend Roy (Jason Hallows) finds work in Santa Barbara. When Roy is fired soon after they arrive, he skips town, and Christine finds that she can't support Tessa and herself on her pay as a checkout clerk. Tessa is ashamed of the poverty they now find themselves in, so she tells her classmates that she comes from a wealthy family and that Christine is her nanny. Christine falls behind on the rent, and soon she and Tessa are evicted from their apartment. They find themselves living in their car, which is then stolen by delinquents; when the police recover the auto, Christine can't afford to pay her tickets to get the car out of impound. Tessa runs away to strike out on her own, and Christine is reduced to taking a fleabag apartment in exchange for sex -- only to discover that the landlord has no intention of honoring his end of the agreement. First, Last and Deposit was shot by first-time director Peter Hyoguchi using a tiny digital video camera and a primarily non-professional cast. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A harsh look at the truth by elvlee June 11, 2004 - 6:47 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
This film presents a gritty and no holds barred look at the human story behind homelessness. The screenplay is very well written, with characters that are believeable, and acting that is convincing. Although simplistic in its presentation, in many ways it simply adds to the perceived realism. The film succeeds in touching upon some very important issues -- but it does not dwell on them for an extended amount of time, instead choosing to focus on the emotional and practical obstacles that face the characters. This is both a positive and a negative, as it would have been good to see those topics (the stigma attached to welfare, the severe impact of parents' troubles on children, etc.) explored more deeply, but it could have potentially hurt the film as a compelling story.

For anyone who has is interested in learning a little more about what happens when someone can't make the rent (and we all should be -- after all, it could happen to any of us someday, or someone we know), this is a film that is definitely worth watching. Be warned, however, it might take you outside your comfort zone... which is not an entirely bad place to be.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.80)
10 Votes
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