Monday, November 25, 2019

'ANYA' may open eyes to a diverse New York world of sci-fi based on fact

Girl meets boy. They connect. He shows up out of nowhere on her doorstep. She wants kids. He wants to expand his culture. Or, maybe not.

So much occurs in the first few minutes of "ANYA," a small independent film made truly in the spirit of those words, that heads may spin just a tad. I mean, we didn't even note a miscarriage -- apparently the third one in a little more than five months in the marriage of personable Libby (Ali Ahn) and rather quiet Marco (Gilbert Perez-Abraham).

That's where the plot from first-time writers/directors Carlanna Taylor and Jacob Akira Okada seriously begins to kick in. However . . .  well, to borrow a phrase, it turns out that we ain't heard (or seen) nothin' yet, including the young man's arranged matrimony to his "ghost" at age 7, a "curse" that keeps him from becoming a father, and an unknown race of people called "Narvals," who isolate themselves in plain sight within the Bronx.

Though filming really took place in small Colombian communities throughout New York, its love story apparently may have been inspired by some actual genetics discoveries. I promise you'll be intrigued for most of its 80 minutes.

No rating; some sex and language; 1:20; $ $ $ out of $5

(This is one in an intermittent series of reviews featuring buzz-worthy films currently playing the festival circuit or soon to be released. Another decidedly indie film, "Anya" becomes available Tuesday on DVD, Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo, and other streaming outlets.)

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