Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Elisabeth Moss, Stephen Brian Jones, Andrew Thaman, Charles Socarides, Patrizia Hernandez
Director: Deborah Kampmeier
VIRGIN is the story of Jessie (Elisabeth Moss), a rebellious teenager who is wrestling with her own spirituality and her family's conservative Baptist tradition. After a sexual encounter that occurs while she is unconsciou... more »
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A First Feature Film That Deserves Attention
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 03/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Deborah Kampmeier is a name to watch. Her first venture into film making is VIRGIN and though there are rough spots in this obviously low budget film, there is enough freshness of voice and technique to give strong notice that this is a creative artist of importance.
VIRGIN is a rather unclassifiable movie and that is part of its beauty. This is not a film about 'girls gone wrong', or about the importance of structured religion, or any of the other routine storylines that the title my suggest to the unknowing viewer. This is a story about life in rural Vermont (or any rural area) where the youth are at odds with the parents, where double standards are de rigeuer, and where far too much credence is placed on the town Church to relegate the rights and wrongs that rule the community.
Jessie Reynolds (Elisabeth Moss) lives for her champion runner sister Katie (Stephanie Gatschet) who in turn is a devout 'Christian' who with her mother (Robin Wright Penn) and father (Peter Gerety) attend church regularly. Jessie is out of the loop with the religion bit and while she supports herself with a paper route, her drinking and smoking bills are supplanted with a habit of shoplifting. She secretly longs for a boy named Shane (Charles Socarides) and has an admirer in another smarmy lad named Michael (Sam Riley).
Jessie gets drunk at a dance one evening and is seduced by Shane with the help of Qaaludes into falling asleep while Shane has sex with her. Jessie has no memory at all of the episode but when she awakens she feels as though she has been impregnated and insists that since she is a virgin, that this must be immaculate conception - that she is carry the next Christ child who will be the second coming of Christ! Obviously no one believes her, she is disowned by her father, begins to have visions (including a wild Hispanic woman who is similar to La Llorona - Socorro Santiago), and decides that she will keep her pregnancy instead of putting the baby for adoption the parents are requiring.
How this all works out on the end is a series of reality testing and morality testing and the result is a moving emotional setting. The acting is fine, especially Elisabeth Moss, and while a bit of judicious editing would have tightened this film, the impact is solid and honest, Given that the film is the first effort of Kampmeier, I for one eagerly await to see where her vision will take us. Grady Harp, March 05"
Shawn A. Lockman | Spokane, WA USA | 06/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The most powerful film I have ever seen! The emotional aspect of Jessie's(Elisabeth Moss) alcoholism and overall mindful un-rest are so truly moving it has to be seen to be believed. Bravo to Deborah Kampier and Robin Wright Penn for giving us ( the viewers )a movie-going experience that will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Never have I seen such TRUE emotion and heart-breaking honesty. The lesson of the film is different for everyone. I believe that is what has made this such an underground favorite. If I had only 24 hours left to live, "VIRGIN" would be at the top-of-the-list of things to do and see. Do yourself a favor, don't miss this movie !"
Beyond Initial Understanding
One More Option | USA | 06/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are certain actresses that if they are in a film, I expect to experience some uncommonly good perspective about some idea or persona that is often misunderstood. For me, those actresses include Robin Wright Penn, Chloe Sevigny, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson, and several others.
Robin Wright Penn acts in this film, and she also believed enough in the film that she was an executive producer. "Virgin" stars Elizabeth Moss, who was Zoey Bartlet from TV's The West Wing. She and the rest of the cast do a tremendous acting job.
The hypocritical father thinks he is doing "good" by condemning and chatising his daugther, following the cruel and misguided persecution of the community. Jessie asks her father, "Who is the liar?" Her father says, "I won't betray my God for you." Sometimes life gives us improbable truths that raise the question of "Do I follow the community's directive or do I consider that my child is telling the truth?" The plot is set up to give an example of where an improbable fact is true. And it is the interpretations of those improbable facts that determine the fate of the characters.
Jessie tells a story of an animal experiment. It's purposefully unclear whether the story is true or something she made up. But it presented questions that I don't have answers for. Another "story" is told by a mad woman, a story that gives another example of where a premature and uninformed interpretation of the facts leads to a tragic violent decision. The story appears to cause Jessie to stop incorrectly blaming and trying to hurt her child.
This movie does not turn away from facing the brutality of rape and the warped mentality of a rapist. The movie is an adult conversation about the brutalities of misunderstanding. It's tough to keep watching all the way to the end, but I encourage you to watch it all. If a theme of the film is "Don't prematurely judge without all the information", the film itself is an example of that theme.
Great art can be interpreted well in many different ways. This film is larger than my understanding, smarter than me, and I'm privileged to have seen it. If after watching the film, you have any concern whether writer/director Deborah Kampmeier has more intelligent things to say about women's issues, then watch the equally recommendable short film on the DVD, entitled "Eat Your Heart Out."
Please comment, express feedback, or suggest related movies."
Most Moving Movie of the Century
Kelly Landon | B.I. Washington | 08/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first saw this movie at the rental, it looked interesting, so I rented it. This movie is the best movie I have ever seen. Elisabeth Moss gives an oscar worthy perfermance, and the whole film will make you see how much people have faith in their religion, but thinks it is impossible to have another christ child. I usually don't like movies that make me cry, but this is a must see.
Elisabeth Moss plays a girl who believes she is carrying the christ child. Little does she know the night before she was drugged and raped by her boyfriend. As the movie goes on the small town she lives in revolts against her,"insanity", and basically shuns her. The rest I shall leave as a ending, I don't want to spoil it. YOU MUST GET THIS MOVIE, I KNOW IT IS HARD TO FIND, BUT BUY IT THEN IT'S WORTH IT!"