Bruce Von Stiers
Andi James is an actor who moves from Los Angeles to Atlanta with her fiancé, Zach. She thinks that new surroundings and a new acting community will help move her career forward. But then the Pandemic hits. And she is stuck at home. But Andi has a vlog so she's not totally isolated.
This is the beginning of the drama film Division.
Andi begins interacting with one of her longtime fans, Mason. But when things move beyond just casual interaction, it gets a bit tricky.
I should point out the film takes place in the fall of 2020, when the race for the presidency was really heating up. And Covid wasn't going away like Trump and others kept trying to fool the public into believing. Mason has become very disgruntled with what he perceives as the liberal agenda. He is continuously being egged on by his roommate Mark, who apparently is buying into everything that he's seeing and hearing on from Trump, various other politicians, and right-wing television personalities. Mark talks about rigged elections and taking the country back. Later in the film it is revealed that Mark and Mason are members of a right-wing militia group.
Andi feels somewhat adrift, not acting and not sure which direction to go with her life. Her mom thinks that Andi should have a baby. But will that solve anything or give Andi's life a real purpose? Zach is kind of emotionally detached, so when Mason shows to be more than a little bit interested in her, Andi makes the choice to become friends with him.
Andi has some interesting neighbors. One neighbor borrows Andi's water hose and steals electricity from another neighbor, Aya. And when we meet Aya she's lounging on her patio smoking pot in a one-hitter pipe. We find out that Andi lives in a predominately black neighborhood and Aya takes her to task a bit for possibly trying to gentrify it. But only halfway joking.
Andi keeps having these conflicting feelings, not only about her relationship with Zach, but her life in general. That's why when Mason tries to make a bit of an inroad into her life, Andi lets him. Especially as her new best friend, Delaney, steers her toward meeting, and possibly hooking up with, Mason.
But that really doesn't work out too well. There are just too many conflicts between Andi and Mason's Ideologies. Andi still loves Zach and doesn't really want to step out on him. Even though she feels a strong attraction to Mason.
It all comes to a head when Andi is a guest on Delaney's podcast. Things change between Andi and Mason. And then Mason's life takes a tailspin. Then things that seem to be going well end up not being that.
The close of the film was unsettling. I halfway expected something dramatic to happen, but I wasn't really prepared for it when it did.
Division was filmed on location in Atlanta, Georgia. The film was directed by Jason Winn. He has produced and directed such films as DeadThirsty and Let's Make It. Winn also shared cinematographer duties on the film with Peyton Barrett.
Jaime Andrews wrote the screenplay. She also stars in the film as Andi James. Jaime co-starred in the Baby Genius films and had roles in several feature films and appearances in television shows, including World's Dumbest, Good Girls Revolt and the current hit show, Wolf Pack.
Joshua Payne plays Dennis. His previous films include Sugar Creek and Come Early Morning.
David Lee Garver plays Mark. From being a stand-in on Mars Attack! to films like Ovation and 10 Days In A Madhouse, David has had supporting roles in many films.
Curt Bonnem plays Zack Bingham. He's been seen in films such as Forgotten and series such as Single Drunk Female.
K.D. O'Hair plays Delaney Keats. She has appeared in the shows Cobra Kai, Chicago Med and The Walking Dead along with several feature and short films.
Rebecca Koon plays Linda Dennis, Mason's mom. She has had recurring roles on such shows as Detour and The Walking Dead. Sandra Lee-Oian Thomas plays Andi's mom. From Jingle All The Way to Mr. Mercedes she has been seen in many things.
Other people in the cast include Corrye Harden as Aya. There was also James Carey, Joseph Jordan, Michelle Gardner, William Salyers, Zena Leigh Logan, Casey Winn, Amanda Celine Miller and Kathy Bell Denton.
Division was disturbing on a couple of fronts. The first was the reminder of the dread that people were feeling about Covid not really going away, with wearing masks and social distancing. The second, and the most important, was the dangerous rhetoric coming from Donald Trump during the fall of 2020. That rhetoric is played out in the background of the film yet is a component of the story. It helps frame the final part of the film.
Division is an excellent film. The acting was first-rate. And the cinematography was well done. It is a film that speaks to the anxieties of the Pandemic. And paints a picture of how marginalized some people were feeling and that Donald Trump would bring things back to what they perceived to be a great America once again. And that violence might be the only way to obtain that goal.
Division is currently available on Amazon, DirectTV, Dish, Vudu and other online and traditional outlets.
You can find out more about Division at it's official website at http://www.themoviedivision.com/
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© 2023 Bruce E Von Stiers