The Reel Review
A young female hiker in the latter stages of terminal cancer gets lost and passes out along the Appalachian Trail, where she is discovered by a young couple operating a moonshine still on their nearby farm. As the hiker gradually gets to know them, she discovers the dark secret that has kept the couple living in seclusion at that location for so many years. Hint: it’s not what you’ll think.
Billed as a fantasy/mystery, the fantasy part of writer/director Takashi Doscher’s story doesn’t really reveal itself until about halfway into the film, via an initially confusing and clumsy flashback sequence. But once it does become clear, you will realize you have stumbled into a pretty fascinating story.
Still is a compelling, character-driven mystery – a thought-provoking commentary on relationships, the specter of monotony and even mortality. The three lead actors – Lydia Wilson (Netflix’s Requiem), Nick Blood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Madeline Brewer (The Handmaid’s Tale, Orange is the New Black) – each inject an element of believability into their roles, culminating in an ending that manages to be both understated and powerful.
• Although set along the Appalachian Trail (which starts in North Georgia), Still was filmed about 100 miles south, at Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia, just north of Columbus. Neighboring Meriwether County is home to century-old stills and generations of moonshiners.
• Madeline Brewer played the role of Janine in The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
• Atlanta writer/director Takashi Doscher’s second feature film, 2020’s Only, stars Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton, Harriet), as lovers trying to survive in an apocalyptic world after a virus kills nearly all of the planet’s women.