Soak | Chicago Reader

Soak

A gaunt, sad-eyed cameraman (Tom Gilbert) who's recently returned to Chicago from Southeast Asia is haunted by flashbacks of bar girls beckoning him and engages an Asian hooker who gives him a venereal disease. Roused from his lethargy by a cocky porn producer (Piotr Tokari), he shoots a video of himself acting out rough sex with an Asian woman (Camilla Ha), and eventually he takes revenge on the hooker by reenacting the scenario for real. A cryptic meditation on existential alienation, this hour-long first feature by Chicago video maker Usama Alshaibi captures the soporific rhythm of the main character's life, but his descent into sadism seems contrived.

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