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Shirkers

In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan shot Singapore's first indie road movie with her enigmatic American mentor Georges – who then vanished with all the footage. Twenty years later, the 16mm film is recovered, sending Tan, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal odyssey in search of Georges' vanishing footprints.
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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

100

The Guardian by

This is so much more than a film about a film, it’s about young women breaking the rules set in a conservative country - the process of doing that was a lot more powerful than finishing the actual film.
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Rolling Stone by David Fear

What Tan has given us is an incredible, sui generis tribute to the international lingua franca of D.I.Y. cinempowerment. She’s also telling us the story of how one person stole a big part of her youth. This documentary is her stealing it back. Victory, finally, is hers.
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IndieWire by Eric Kohn

Shirkers becomes a paean to the pivotal moment when the idealism of young adulthood faces a harsh reality check.
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The New York Times by Jeannette Catsoulis

Like a photograph slowly developing before our eyes, Shirkers (which was also the title of the original picture) is both mystery and manhunt, a captivating account of shattered friendship and betrayed trust. The skill of the editing (by Tan and two colleagues), though, is key.
91

The Playlist by Ryan Oliver

Shirkers is a film that should be experienced more than explained. That sounds like a cop out, but it’s an inspiring documentary about the process of filmmaking, the love of outsider art, but also a cautionary tale about trust and shadiness in the filmmaking world.
80

Variety by Scott Tobias

Shirkers isn’t about Cardona, but about Tan reclaiming the film and the story that he had taken away from her. Her energized, rough-hewn documentary style doesn’t seem that far removed from her lost debut, but she and her friends have enough perspective to look back at that period in their lives with touching fondness and good humor.
91

The A.V. Club by Vikram Murthi

The original "Shirkers" might be a product of a bygone era of pop culture, but its new nonfiction form scans as a second attempt to reach those fellow weirdos who are desperate to make something real, established structures be damned.

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