Sundance 2018: White Rabbit great for representation

Vivian Bang appears in White Rabbit by Daryl Wein, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Daryl Wein.

An official selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, White Rabbit is one of the more unique films to play the NEXT program.

Directed by Daryl Wein from a script co-written with Vivian Bang, White Rabbit shines a light on a segment of the population that doesn’t have the opportunity to be represented much on the big screen in leading performances. Things may be changing on the small screen but there’s still a lot work to be done on the big screen and the same goes for the Latin population in terms of representation.

In writing the Los Angeles-set script, the duo are able to blend Bang’s reality with a kind of fiction made to serve the film for dramatic purposes and giving Bang a star-turning performance. She performs in all kinds of places when one least expects it, whether it’s at a grocery store or park.  Perhaps none of her performances may be more important than the one that she tells about what happened to Korean-American families during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots following the death of Rodney King.  The Koreans got the blame for the racial tensions as unfair as that may be, it’s also something important to learn.  In telling the story, Bang delivers it with importance and emoting off a vibe that says how important it is.

Victoria (Nana Ghana) is able to connect with Vivian over how she embodies her culture.  Their friendship is vital to the film’s success and it’s nice to see two minority women in starring performances.

There’s a moment in the film where Bang auditions for a director (Nico Evers-Swindell) looking for an Asian-American in a film that he’s making.  While there may only be for a few lines for the character he wants her to portray, the director feels that the character serves an importance to the film, telling her that “there are strong intelligent women in the workforce and they are of different backgrounds.” That may be true but it’s also important to note that it’s kind of reminiscent of how things are now with segments of society not getting the proper representation in which they deserve on screen.

White Rabbit is a film that runs on the short side with a running time just over an hour long.  One area in which the film could be improved upon is telling us who plays who in the cast and that’s not to take away anything from the end titles designed by Wein–they are amazing in their own right.

An official selection of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, White Rabbit competed in the NEXT program. A distributor has not been announced.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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