By Kevin Jagernauth – IndieWire – 5/9/2014
What happens when the dreams and aspirations of big city life just vanish into thin air, as if they had never existed? What becomes of that person and those memories and the life that was lived but never fulfilled? Those are the questions at the heart of Petra Costa’s documentary “Elena.”
The film is a personal one for Costa, who investigates what happened to her sister Elena, who moved to New York City when the director was seven years old, with dreams of becoming an actress. But over the years calls and letters home slowed until they eventually stopped entirely, with Costa using her film as a means to investigate what happened to Elena. And it’s powerful stuff, with our own Katie Walsh writing in her review that it’s “stunningly beautiful and achingly emotional… consistently surprises and awes in its sensitivity and (as Herzog would say) ecstatic truths.” And this exclusive trailer certainly opens a window to a unique cinematic experience.
Variance Films and Syndicado will open “Elena” on Friday, May 30th, at New York’s IFC Center before expanding to Los Angeles and additional cities in the U.S. and Canada beginning on June 13th.