Directed by former Los Angeles Reader film critic Dan Sallitt, The Unspeakable Act takes one of the few remaining social taboos in the western world and presents it in an earnest and incredibly charming way. Dealing with the controversial theme of incest within a close-knit, yet strangely detached family dynamic, Sallitt’s film relies far more on the strength of its character development than it does on gaudy sensationalism.

Intelligent 17-year-old New Yorker Jackie (Tallie Medel) has long held a fondness for her brother Matthew. However, when he brings home a girlfriend, Jackie struggles to deal with her deep-rooted heartbreak. Successfully immersing us into Jackie’s curious attitude towards romance and family, Sallitt allows us to detach ourselves from the stigmas of society and study this tale of incest in almost an entirely clinical way.

Like Rohmer, Sallitt has created a remarkable honest portrait of adolescent romantic confusion. The Unspeakable Act is an intimate, yet thoroughly enjoyable film with a far more universal theme of sexual confusion and teenage angst than its eye-catching synopsis suggests.

Patrick Gamble
Cine Vue

‘Dan Sallitt is America’s indie answer to Rohmer’

‘Tackling the thorny subject of sibling incest head-on with spiky intelligence and a literary brand of articulacy’
The Hollywood Reporter