Set in a small town farming community, Polarized tells the story of Lisa (Holly Deveaux). She’s a woman frustrated by the negative impact of the town’s vertical farm on local agriculture. Dalia (Maxine Denis) and her Muslim family own the new farm. They too are struggling to find save haven in the town’s Conservative community. Dalia and Lisa have their differences. Despite them, they form a relationship that unexpectedly begins to shake the foundations of their homes and families. As they grow closer, their attraction forces them to face the barriers that threaten to keep them apart.
Directed by Shamim Sarif, Polarized makes good use of its rural setting to inspire a sense of security, even though it harbours deep resentment and prejudice. This is a place where, initially, we are meant to believe that this town to be home to many. Warm colours and textures create an atmosphere of welcoming and safety. However, Sarif quickly pulls the blinders back on a world divided. Despite its country glow, the people of this town find themselves torn over multiple issues. From racial gaps, sexuality, religious differences, problems with gender parity and even farming vs. big tech, the people of this community struggle to come together on anything.
In doing so, the film somehow feels more authentic in its approach. Rather than simply take on one particular issue, Polarized recognizes the complexities and biases that can be appear in any particular community. At the same time though, it also reveals the tremendous amount of humility required to work through those biases and create a safer space for all. As a result, Polarized may be a tale that speaks to the prejudices that cause rifts between us but also points to the hope that love can help these rifts heal.
- Release Date: 4/1/2023o