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The clock is ticking; the days are passing, as she sits behind closed doors, paralyzed by fear.

SPARROWS DANCE, directed by Noah Buschel, explores the life of a former actress (Marin Ireland) who has been sequestered in her apartment for a year. Her daily existence is plagued by fear. This fear serves to clog her life, until she meets Wes the plumber (Paul Sparks).

She is a young woman who wanders from room to room, existing in total fear. She has many crutches used to stave off her ‘fear of’. Her days are spent in utter isolation; her existence is one of self-imposed exile. Each day passes with her engaging in simple routines: sleeping, eating, exercising and watching T.V. Her daily sustenance is conveyed to her door. It is through this door that she communicates with the outside world.

She lives vicariously through the lives of the people in the old movies. While scarfing down a wrap, she watches an old movie in which the male character cheats on his wife. She has a forlorn expression on her face. A look that says: ‘I am right to be in a state of solitude.’

She also witnesses a crime in progress from her window and she dials 911. She acts, while the other witnesses look on in fear. It shows that in spite of her phobia her humanity shines forth.

One day her toilet overflows, water is everywhere and the neighbor alerts her to the problem by banging on her door. Her reaction to this intrusion is to withdraw under her bedcovers. Eventually, she utters a response: “I’ll take care of it.” She contacts a plumbing company and they agree to send a plumber. She struggles with this and requests that service be provided via phone. In the end, she is forced to give in.

Wes, the plumber, is intelligent, confident, and empathetic. He enters her solitary life and gently attempts to prod her out of her shell. Soon, he has her dancing, smiling and sharing her fears. She is swept off her feet. Wes encourages her to venture forth onto the stage of life. She is overcome with immense fear at his prodding. She wrestles with her phobia and lashes out at Wes.

Will she vanquish her fears? Only time will tell…

The director/writer, Noah Buschel, is brilliant in his portrayal of agoraphobia. The music is effectively interspersed throughout the film. The lighting techniques implemented are truly commendable. It is a sensitive and captivating portrayal of this phobia.

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