The Disenchantment of a Young Adult and a Wild Child
Rachel and Hazel return to their hotel, giddy from a night of drinking in Prague. But the euphoria of the night shatters as the sisters talk.
About The Project
The Disenchantment of a Young Adult and a Wild Child is the story of Rachel and Hazel, a poised law student and a free-spirited photographer, both on the verge of emerging as their adult selves.
It’s Prague. It’s winter. It’s cold. We watch through a camera lens as Hazel chases Rachel out of the Bohemian nightlife and into their minuscule hotel room, crying “Wait!” But the magic of their rekindled sisterhood is shattered as the bitch and the brat confront their reality — an ill Mum, dual citizenship, each other, and most paralyzing of all, themselves. Rachel and Hazel are disenchanted: life isn’t a fairytale or a perfect plan.
I actually was in Prague on the night of December 29th, 2013. I actually did go with my sister. I actually was really drunk. And I do have questions (more than I can ask here) for my family. As for the embarrassing singing…I’ll never tell.
Months later, an ocean away, on the verge of graduating Tisch School of the Arts, my teacher Geoffrey Horne said to me,
“Everything you hate about yourself… every embarrassing trait you are covering up,
is what makes you unique, human, and unlike anything anyone has ever seen before
….These things will make you, not break you.”
Giving voice to those embarrassing traits, my impending graduation, a set of dying relatives, and an uncertain future, I sat down and wrote the first draft of ‘The Disenchantment’ fusing my experiences of the real December 29th with a fictional confrontation of those inner monsters.
I made my monsters into girls.
Two girls: Rachel and Hazel.
In confronting each other, they confront the questions:
‘Who are we?’
and ‘How do we become that way?’
It is this ‘becoming’ that transfixes me—you are not what you were and not what you will be yet; like metamorphosing Lepidoptera: neither caterpillar nor butterfly. That’s where this story takes place, in the chrysalis, on the verge of emerging with a new identity…
…an identity you don’t get to choose. Although they share the same past and blood, the girls want to emerge as radically different beings:
Hazel fancies herself a rebel bohemian artist;
Rachel is on track to become a sophisticated, elite lawyer.
Both want to be beautiful.
As the film devolves from fun to dramatic, these ideas unravel. Identity—like beauty—is in the eye of the beholder, not the manipulator, and in grappling with this disparity, Rachel and Hazel, Shannon and I, and the audience, undergo a DISENCHANTMENT. This Disenchantment dispels millennial and female cinematic stereotypes: yes, Rachel and Hazel can be selfish twenty-somethings but they call each other out on it; and Shannon and I defy sexist Hollywood ‘types’ by fleshing out those molds until they shatter.
And most importantly they grapple with growing up:
Does growing up mean surrendering my spontaneity?
Should or shouldn’t I be an artist?
Would that be selfish?
How do I become good?
Can I live with myself if I forgive people who hurt me?
If I don’t does that define me?
Who I am?
What decides that anyway?
Or…can I choose?
I can’t answer those questions. I won’t pretend to. The Disenchantment of a Young Adult and a Wild Child is a film about asking. My goal is simply: To ask. To make a film for anyone who has had a difficult family relationship. For anyone who has stood on the verge of huge change. For anyone who has grown up.
…And for anyone who won’t.
About This Team
LEAH MEYERHOFF (Executive Producer)
An award winning filmmaker whose debut narrative feature I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS was released theatrically in 2015 after premiering at SXSW, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival and additional awards from Woodstock Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, First Time Fest, Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, NYU and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Meyerhoff’s previous work has screened in over 200 film festivals and aired on IFC, PBS, LOGO and MTV. She is a fellow of the IFP Emerging Visions program at the New York Film Festival. Meyerhoff is also the founder of Film Fatales, a female filmmaker collective based in New York with over a dozen local chapters around the world. She hold a BA in Art-Semiotics from Brown University and an MFA from NYU Tisch’s School of the Arts.
WILD OBSCURA FILMS (Production Company)
Made up of Nora Unkel and Devin Shepherd, Wild Obscura Films is an independent production company focused on stories, characters, and content driven by the female gaze. Striving for the complex, the dark, the unexpected, they want to revolutionize the modern cinematic experience. Their goal is to bring light to new voices previously unheard and unseen through narrative material. WOF produced THE GOBLIN SONG, an Official Selection of The Sacramento Film & Music Festival, Hollywood Sky Film Festival; and Winner of Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Producing, and Best Cinematography at the First Run Film Festival. WOF were also honored as the Filmmakers of the Year at the SheROCKS 2016 Awards.
HANNAH ROZE (Hazel, Co-Director, Writer)
A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a major in Drama and a minor in Art History. Short films in which she has appeared have been featured at the New Hampshire Film Festival, the Big Apple Film Fest, and Another Hole in The Head Film Fest. “Haunted”, the directorial debut of Katie Ennis (editor, “The Americans”) in which Hannah was featured won Best Short Drama at the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival in 2015. She made her Off-Broadway debut as Marie in “The Final Days of Vincent Van Gogh.” Hannah is currently the Membership Coordinator of The Film Fatales, and was Party Coordinator for the College Group at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She reads tarot, is certified in the use of eight weapons by the Society of American Fight Directors, and lives in Brooklyn.
SHANNON SPANGLER (Rachel, Producer, Assistant Writer)
A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in Drama and History. Short films in which she has appeared have won the IndieWork’s Audience Choice Award, Best Film at the Seoul International Extreme Short Image & Film Festival, Indie Fest’s Award of Merit, and have been featured in festivals such as Cannes, the Female Eye Film Festival, and WorldFest Houston. A production of Red Light Winter she starred in won awards at the International Theatre School Festival in Warsaw, Poland in 2015. She is a meticulous planner (usually color-coded), and avid reader and runner. She also lives in Brooklyn.