Tread the fine line between comedy and anxiety in Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby, a coming-of-age film that debuted online at the 2020 South by Southwest festival.
Danielle is a bisexual, Jewish college senior who isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life, spending her free time with her sugar daddy Max. She and her parents go to a funeral for a recently-deceased friend of the family, dreading the questions and judgement of nosy neighbors eager to pry into her aimless life. As if the situation weren’t awkward enough, she encounters Max at the funeral, who it turns out not only knows her parents but is married to boot.
Occurring almost entirely in real time, Shiva Baby cultivates a claustrophobic atmosphere filled equally with tension and humor.
“Shiva Baby proves Seligman and Sennott to be adept storytellers in their own savvy, parallel ways, precisely the sort of artists that festivals should be fostering.” — M.G. Mailloux, In Review Online
“A deeply uncomfortable movie, with an ingeniously cringe-y premise.” — Joshua Rivera, Polygon
“A symphony of anxiety, shame, confusion and chaos with a Jewish wake (the shiva) as its surprisingly entertaining backdrop.” — Lisa Trifone, Third Coast Review