Review of Sarasota Half in Dream directed by Derek Murphy, produced by Mitchell Zemil at the 2017 Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) #mysff

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Sarasota Half in Dream directed by Derek Murphy, produced by Mitchell Zemil

Review by Dana Marie

Looking for a walk on the wild side of Sarasota? Do you dare to know where teens satisfy their needs for adventure and socialization in a city full of “rich, old, white people”?

Sarasota Half in Dream, directed by Derek Murphy and produced by Mitchell Zemil will take you there, far into the night in the recesses of decaying and empty places.  In this experimental documentary, Murphy rips back the veneer of stability and exposes the true and sometimes bizarre energy of our quiet little town.

Downtown areas, bustling by day, like storage units and parking structures become playgrounds for athletics, hangouts and band practice in the early morning hours. Abandoned properties, once productive factories and five star resorts, and boxcars left to rust in the sun provide a place where these urban explorers create their own reality and social structure.

Scenes of rising tidal areas add a somber note and portray what he describes as an “ unperceptably slow apocalypse ”. His footage of the mangroves consuming the forgotten beaches is compelling. We are challenged to recognize and react to earth changes often ignored by our high-rise society.

Murphy filmed for over four years, and dramatically highlighted the contrast in the before and after, the pristine and the despoiled.   The tone of his narration reflects the seriousness of his message. The film leaves you feeling astonished and threatened. Expect to be a little confused on the drive home.

Click to download 2017 Sarasota Film Festival Official Guide (14 MB)

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There is more that goes on in the sleepy suburban city of Sarasota, Florida than meets the eye. In this experimental documentary, Derek Murphy attempts to capture and bottle the bizarre and sometimes astonishing energy that appears in the most unexpected places. From abandoned golf courses to early morning expeditions in parking garages, SARASOTA HALF IN DREAM captures the small, iridescent impressions of this tropical city and its secrets.


Section:    Main Slate
Genre:    Documentary,  Local
Category:    Documentary Feature
Internal Film Info
Internal Category:    Documentary Feature
Release Year:    2016
Runtime:    70 minutes
Type of Film:    Documentary Feature
Production Country:    USA
Original Language:    English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:    Derek Murphy
Produced By:    Mitchell Zemil
Screenwriter:    Derek Murphy
Cinematography:    Mitchell Zemil
Editing By:    Mitchell Zemil

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