The sensational evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson has pulled off her latest marvel: vanishing in plain sight of a devout disciple! Except that this disappearance was a cleverly orchestrated ploy to run away with her lover, a married writer named Kenny. Outfitted with new identities and a courageous guide named Rey, Aimee and Kenny head for Mexico, searching for inspiration and adventure. When Aimee tires of Kenny’s literary ineptitude, she enlists Rey’s help to ditch him in the desert. Yet getting Aimee back to Los Angeles—where the news, the police, and her devotees are anxiously searching for her—will take a real miracle.
Writer/directors Marie Schlingmann and Samantha Buck construct a playful, carnivalesque world saturated with campfire folktales and irreverent characters. The core of the film’s power lies in Anna Margaret Hollyman’s performance as cunning show-woman Aimee and in her undeniable chemistry with Andrea Suarez Paz (the valiant Rey). Part 1920s radioplay, part western, part musical, and an all-around screwball comedy, Sister Aimee embraces one woman’s legend to validate the power of spectacle and the magic of a good storyteller.
Directed by Marie Schlingmann, Samantha Buck (USA, 2019, 87 min). Narrative Feature.