Mired in existential doubt the evening before her wedding, self-described “master of self-sabotage,” Eden (Breeda Wool) makes the poor decision of getting blackout drunk. She wakes up on the morning of her nuptials badly beaten and left for dead in the desert outside Los Angeles. Unable to speak thanks to a broken jaw, Eden has to navigate her way back to the city for help, encountering some of the best and worst that humanity has to offer along the way. Meanwhile, her husband-to-be (Ben Rovner) frantically tries to find where she might have vanished to.
The second feature from filmmaker Beth Dewey, Erasing Eden is a character drama that doesn’t pull any punches. From the outset, where Dewey does her best to place the viewer in the shoes of her sometimes unlikable and complex protagonist, things are dark and unforgiving. Dewey creates the perfect headspace for the viewer to be in. Details about Eden’s life are doled out in sparing, uncomfortable fashion, aided by Wool’s captivating leading performance.
Such material could have been played like a soap opera or a broad comedy, but Dewey plays things realistically, turning the downtrodden streets of LA into a place of hope and nightmares in equal amount. It’s a tough film at times, but definitely worthwhile.
Is Erasing Eden essential festival viewing?
Absolutely. It’s a unique and emotional character piece.