Sundance Film Festival Trend: Hard Times

As the 2011 Sundance Film Festival heads into its awards ceremony tonight and then, tomorrow, its final day, the festival-film trends are still emerging. The Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik has spotted another one: economic hardship, which he calls “a veritable through-line” in many of this year’s selections.

He writes:

This year, with the recession more than two years old, many of the movies, conceived when the recession was just starting, incorporated economic and other difficulties into their fabric. The struggle to make it in today’s America was an on-screen trend related to — or perhaps even the antecedent for — the Sundance Film Festival’s other common theme — that of characters looking for spiritual salvation.

In other words, the financial crisis that changed so much about our lives may have made us question the nature and purpose of those lives.

“Things seem so strange, especially in the wake of the economic collapse and the confusion over ‘if consumption isn’t everything, how do you construct a meaningful life?’” writer and actress Brit Marling, whose two festival films, ANOTHER EARTH and SOUND OF MY VOICE, each in its way deals with desolation and salvation, told Zeitchik. “Both of my films are really investigating our faith in being alive: who are we, what are we doing and why should we keep going?”

Read Zeitchik’s article here.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.