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Review: Brandon Polanco's EARTH MOTHER Is Magical!

A whimsical and poignant journey through the doors of perception and enlightenment.

Review: Brandon Polanco's EARTH MOTHER Is Magical!

"Blessed be Mother Earth. Blessed be Father Time. Blessed be the Universe."

With this incantation, oft repeated in his directorial debut, EARTH MOTHER, Brandon Polanco exalts the elements of the magick ~ in his words, the final frontier that supplies life and livelihood with inspiration and meaning ~ that drives his artistic vision.

Polanco's intellect, sensitivity, and passion for the transcendent inform this profound, poignant, and whimsical journey to illumination.

For a first-time venture, EARTH MOTHER is an impressive outing ~ so intriguing and engaging, accentuated by a collection of fine performances, that I'm inclined to focus on the merits that make this a film worth watching.

The movie centers on the notion that once every hundred years, Earth Mother appears with the aim of inspiring enlightenment among her human subjects. Now, on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, this radiant being (in the form of the charismatic Annette Mia Flores) emerges naked from the waters to bring her magic to play.

A trio of ravenous crones, aptly named the Wyrd Sisters ~ Joy (Linda Nenno), Prudence (Alexandra Nicole), and Hope (Jenny Joslin) is in hot (and, frankly, over-the-top-and-near comical) pursuit of her.

She is rescued by Dave (Josh Kim), a young man who, coincidentally, has just been fired and is adrift, questioning the purpose of life. He brings her to the home of his uncle Walton (Ian Kevin Scott), an ebullient and optimistic shaman-like character who exhorts Dave to free himself from the chains that bind him.

It's fair to say that, as Dave's journey unfolds, he is all of bewildered, bothered, and ultimately bewitched (in an uplifting way) by this formidable and strangely familiar spirit. And, for E.M., the journey will match her strength against that of the dark side in a final showdown with Hecate, the Queen Crone (Angela Pietropinto).

Dave and Earth Mother aka Sera (short for Seraphim) do not travel alone. Polanco's story joins them with a trinity of distinctive characters ~ Vera (Amani Dorn), Cody (Christopher Ebel) and Warren (Leah Kreitz) ~ each of whom are essential to a pivotal moonlit evening of electric and psychedelic epiphany. There's a poetry in the framing of this elemental experience ~ that magical substances can lift the veil and release the cognitive prison around our consciousness.

In that moment of awakening, it is the powerful yet nurturing voice of Earth Mother (channeled by Franchelle Stewart Dorn) that conveys the transformative power of love and healing, that binds the characters together, and that reveals what Polanco defines as the path of the infinite being. Special effects illuminate the energy of the universe and the connectivity of its parts.

For devotees of the metaphysical and spiritual realms, EARTH MOTHER rolls like a magical mystery tour, transporting the viewers through doors of perception and awakening them to the possibilities of enlightenment. For those unfamiliar with the world of Gaea, wizards, crones, old souls, and crystals, the film is a delightful introduction to this world of wonderment. All enhanced by Chase McDaniel's camera and Scott's visual effects, which capture the vibrancy of nature and invokes imagery that heightens one's appreciation and awe of the universe's mysteries.

Sure, as a new venture, the film has its shortcomings ~ a tendency to overplay certain scenes, a need perhaps to tighten up and clarify the parallel story lines ~ but, and this is important, its strength and value lies solidly in the richness of the performances and the nobility of its director's intention to reveal eternal truths.

We now look forward to Polanco's next offering.

EARTH MOTHER is now available for viewing on Amazon Prime.

Photo credit to Writer's Block Entertainment ~ pictured: Annette Mia Flores

Silent Glue Productions/Writer's Block Entertainment ~ ~

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