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

My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To

Year: 2019
Language: English
Run Time: 90 minutes

My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To

Despite its focus on a fiercely protective and close-knit family, an aura of supreme loneliness lingers across every scene in Jonathan Cuartas’ austere debut. Adult siblings Dwight and Jessie dedicate all their time to caring for their frail, ailing younger brother Thomas. Dwight roams the streets at night in search of society’s most vulnerable so he can provide his brother with the one thing he needs to survive: human blood. While Jessie believes the end justifies the means, Dwight starts to buckle under the collective weight of each murder, and Thomas questions if his apartment-bound life is even worth living. Restrained yet arresting cinematography reflects a sense of hopeless rage simmering just below the surface. Somewhere between “Let the Right One In” and “Martin,” Cuartas fuses mythical horror with familial drama for a heart wrenching exploration of vampirism as disease. Featuring absorbing performances—including Patrick Fugit of “Almost Famous”—MY HEART CAN’T BEAT UNLESS YOU TELL IT TO is a portrait of extreme sacrifice in which codependency and dysfunction are monsters all their own. — D.O.

CIFF45 Screenings

CIFF45 Streams On Demand

Thursday, April 08, 2021 at 11:00 AM -
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Streams Access: United States and US Territories
Accessibility (?)
Closed Captions: No
Audio Description: No
English Subtitles: No

After Hours

New Direction Competition

Jonathan Cuartas

Kenny Oiwa Riches, Anthony Pedone, Jesse Brown, Ian Peterson, Patrick Fugit

Jonathan Cuartas

Michael Cuartas

TJ Nelson

Principal Cast
Patrick Fugit, Ingrid Sophie Schram, Owen Campbell

Film Contact
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