- 96 mins
“Marianna Palka’s vicious feminist satire has plenty of bark and bite” – Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE
“BITCH doesn't hold back on its direct attack on a kind of patriarchy that still exists despite how far we've come” - Shelagh Rowan-Legg, SCREEN ANARCHY
“A fearless film that explores the explosion of the nuclear family and gender paradigms as only a scrappy little indie can” – John Fink, THE FILM STAGE
Jill (Marianna Palka) is a housewife with four children, a husband the she knows is cheating, and a joyless daily routine that’s gradually muffled her into complacent, invisible oblivion. Her husband Bill (Jason Ritter) has grown so focused on making a whack of money to provide for his family that his cheating is of no emotional weight to him, and he couldn’t be less aware of what Jill is going through at home. The kids know that something is wrong, and that they may even somehow be part of the problem, but what can they do? Meanwhile, a mysterious dog continuously appears in front of their home, day after day, night after night. Observing. Stalking? One day, Jill has a complete breakdown, losing her ability to speak as she devolves into a howling, primal, canine-like state. Change is coming. One way or another. And Jill will no longer be ignored.
An eccentric work with razor-sharp teeth, inspired by a documented case study, BITCH is alternately funny beyond words and confrontational with a warrior soul. An assault on domesticity and self-compromise, driven home by an extraordinary performance by writer/director Marianna Palka (reteaming here with an especially terrific Jason Ritter after her 2008 feature debut GOOD DICK), this is the best kind of subversive filmmaking, vibrant and ferocious, yet wickedly entertaining and engrossing. Beneath its absurdist premise, BITCH manages to be a genuinely unsettling experience, forcing its audience to not only bare witness to a painful psychotic break, but to gaze into the raw, diminishing anguish of everyday patriarchal neglect. That it will also have you in stitches is a testament to the brilliance of its gifted creator/star.
- Mitch Davis