A cross between The Last Picture Show and Eighth Grade, Cusp focuses on the the lives of three Texas high school sophomores as they venture into a world filled with drugs, alcohol, and toxic masculinity. The level of access directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt have to these young women is astounding and provides a raw, authentic tone to this documentary. Brittney, Autumn, and Aaloni are so emotionally open to the camera, which further reflects how pervasive recording has become in this generation.
Cusp does wander in its narrative focus at times, but it only emphasizes how commonplace sexual and verbal abuse are in the lives of these girls and countless other teenagers today. Hill and Bethencourt have complied the teenage girl experience and packed it into a documentary that is sure to leave you with complete sympathy for today’s youth.
The Silver Lining
Hill and Bethencourt’s handheld cinematography is concurrently shaky and cinematically gorgeous. This style makes it as though the viewer is an active participant in Brittney, Aaloni, and Autumn’s daily lives.
Cusp is a part of DOC NYC’s (Nov 10-28th) 2021 lineup. Click here to learn more about how you can purchase a ticket for this title (both for in-person and digital screenings).