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In her search for closure to this bizarre chapter in her life, Tan recreates Cardona’s steps to make sense of why he would steal the teens’ work. Her journey takes several dark turns, which she captures in a crisp digital format which contrasts nicely against the dreamy footage of the original “Shirkers,” which was its own twisted take on melodrama, surrealism and existentialism.
Like another breakout independent film this year, “The Tale,” Tan’s documentary attempts to portray her own narrative with objectivity and distance, but she discovers along the way that such a thing may not be possible, that memories will wait years or decades to snag you in their truths.
As the story of the mysterious Cordona plays out, the persuasive personalities of the three women both then and now strike a chord.