Introverted teenager Birdie (radiant newcomer Ilirida Memedovski) is forced to live inside a quaint, Lake-Michigan-situated convent by her concerned grandmother. Grandma’s hope is that the strict nuns will change the teen’s outlook on life. It doesn’t take long, though, for Birdie’s obsession with blood, via her inquisitive reactions to such bloody noses and her own menstruation, to rock not only her own world but those of the convent’s inhabitants, including the groundskeeper’s young daughter, with whom Birdie sparks a romance.
A storyboard artist for big Hollywood films like this year’s WONDER WOMAN, UK-based writer-director Elizabeth E. Schuch brings her visual flair to this beautifully shot and colorfully hypnotic debut. Schuch’s decision to cast only women wasn’t by accident—THE BOOK OF BIRDIE applies Gothic horror and Shirley-Jackson-like fantasy to a quietly unnerving story seeped in feminism. —Matt Barone
Director: Elizabeth E. Schuch
Cast: Illirida Memedovski, Suzan Crowley, Kathryn Browning, Kathryn Haynes
Producer: Konstantinos Koutsoliotas, Iakovos Vroutsis, João Pedro Fleck, Nicolas Tonsho Screenwriter: Elizabeth E. Schuch
Length: 90 Minutes