An impressionistic, heavily improvised portrait of a working-class suburban Baltimore community, in which a teenager has recently died of a heroin overdose.
Featuring mostly non-professional actors, Putty Hill mixes fiction with documentary devices (such as characters responding to an unseen interviewer).
There’s little in the way of story; director Matt Porterfield quietly observes the situations and feelings of relatives and friends gathering for the funeral.
There are moments of lyrical beauty and Porterfield never patronises his subjects, but a sense of tranquilised resignation dominates.
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