Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1997
Country: United States
Run Time: 85 minutes

It's hard not to recall the case of the Unabomber while watching STATES OF CONTROL, a mesmerizing chronicle of one woman's implosive path to empowerment - or descent into madness, take your choice. Lisa, discontent with her careeer and marriage, encounters Paul, an abrasive stage director who proclaims his contempt for the lives most people lead. Inspired by Paul, Lisa comes to the realization that everyone around her, in one way or another, is a failed idealist. Gradually, Lisa starts testing the boundaries of her life, from timid sexual experimentation to rigorous exercises in self-discipline, forcing herself to remain awake for days at a time. Her outrageous acts and everyday rebellions grow more extreme, until even Paul can't compete. Lisa's final evolution and symbolic rebirth is as harrowing as it is inevitable. Expect arguments to rage over STATES OF CONTROL. Is Lisa a feminist or a reactionary? Does the film endorse its heroine or roundly condemn her? One thing is certain: your nights will be as sleepless as Lisa's, as you contemplate the journey she takes, and wonder how many others out there would follow the same path.

Zack Winestine

Zack Winestine

Zack winstine, Priscilla Guastavino, JoAnne Pawlowski, Matt Janes

Susan Starr

Jim Villone

Principal Cast
Jennifer van Dyck, John Cunnignham, Stephen Bogardus, Ellen Greene, Jennie Moreau, Stephen Gevedon

Film Contact
Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today