Tribeca Film Festival: "Beneath the Harvest Sky" Review

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A teen drama set during the fall potato harvest in a small northern Maine town.
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Continuing my coverage of the 2014 Tribeca Film festival, I stumbled across a cool film called "Beneath The Harvest Sky."  The film was directed and written by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly. It revolves around two young friends Casper (Emory Cohen) and Dominic (Callan McAuliffe). 

The film begins with Casper’s 15-year old girlfriend telling him she is pregnant, which was a little bold of the writers because we don’t have a good sense of what Casper was like before he hears this news.  As you can imagine, for a high school kid this news will turn your world upside down.  Casper decides to turn to his father Clayotn (Aiden Gillen), who you may know from 'The Wire' and 'Game of Thrones,' to help him with his over the Canadian border drug smuggling operation.  This action will lead the film down a path that Casper thought he could handle, but may not turn out to be the way he fantasizes.

Dominic on the other hand works hard at a potato farm and is working to save up for his dream car and get the hell out of this small Maine town.  He is a bright kid with a great future ahead of him. He falls for a girl on the farm with the same dreams and aspirations as both share a fantasy of big cities and new life experiences. 

The two friends could not be any different but they have a deep love and respect for each other. They both would do whatever necessary to help one another. As you might think, Dominic gets the much harder role as he has to deal with Casper’s need to make money fast and illegally. The film fills each character with desperation and you will feel it as you watch from beginning to the end.

I enjoyed the film and the overall tone of it. In life, I could probably only handle Casper for about a minute before I would walk away and never talk to him again, but Dominic is a very likeable character.  There are some aspects to the film that seem a little cliche to me, but you will get that in a story like this that is about real life situations.  I thought the acting was wonderful and the directing was great.  It is a depressing story though, and takes some effort on the audiences part to stay with it at times. Overall, it was a good film that fans of the genre will enjoy.