When I first saw Babak Najafi's Sebbe, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't know a thing about the filmmaker or really anyone involved, but nonetheless it knocked me squarely on my ass. It centers around a teenage boy, Sebastian, whom lives alone with his mother. It is established early on that Sebastian is a loner. He doesn't seem to have many friends and he spends most of his time by himself. Sebastian's mother has a dead end job, and as the film progresses it is established just how much she resents Sebastian for what she perceives as holding her back in life. This is a masterfully directed piece of filmmaking that has striking imagery while capturing all the small nuances of the characters The film never panders to the audience by over explaining aspects of Sebastian's life. It's a true character study of Sebastian, and as a viewer you can learn everything you need to know just by watching him. The mother character could have easily been this cliche character (i.e. Monique in Precious) but instead she is treated as a true human being; with lots of pitfalls but also is given some very genuine moments which remind you that she is human, and not some mythical evil monster. Aesthetically, this film reminded me quite a bit of Paranoid Park. Its beautifully shot, and really does a great job of getting you into Sebastian's mindset and feelings. This is a definitely a film that fits in the 'Teen Angst - High School" genre, though its really the best film of the genre that I have seen. Its just such an intimate portrait of a teenager and I highly anticipate whatever Babak Najafi does next.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.