Fantasia Review: Baby, Don’t Cry


There have always been outsiders within society. People who don’t confirm to the norms expected by those in charge. Who are alienated or ostracised by their peers for their non-conformity. Forced into the margins. Whilst this can happen to anyone it often forms part of the migrant experience. Misunderstood, bullied and abused, trying to fit into a culture which seems strange and confusing. This forms the foundation for Baby, Don’t Cry.

Baby (Zita Bai) is a withdrawn and sensitive 17-year-old Chinese immigrant who lives with her unhappy mother (Helen Sun). As well as a troubled homelife, she struggles to fit in at school, often finding herself the target for bullies. When she encounters Fox (Vas Provatakis), an older delinquent, the pair strike up an uneasy bond. As their unorthodox relationship blossoms, she finds herself dragged into his world of violence and crime.

Baby, Don’t Cry is a twisted tale of outsiders drawn together by the same forces which conspire to pull them apart. Written by and starring Bai, it’s a film full of culture clashes. However, this is not a story of redemption. Neither of Jesse Dvorak’s protagonists are very sympathetic, but that’s not the point. Baby, Don’t Cry is a descent into the dark heart of America. Into the shadows where the forgotten live.

Baby, Don’t Cry screened at Fantasia International Film Festival.

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