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‘Backspot’: Cheerleading without the cheer

Posted on AllSides May 28th, 2024
From The Left

Canadian director D. W. Waterson’s “Backspot” doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from other films about student athletes or artists struggling to become the most accomplished versions of themselves. In the queer, non-binary filmmaker’s feature debut (expanding on their 2017 short of the same name), Riley (Devery Jacobs) gives her all to her school’s cheerleading squad. The opening scene is told from her point of view, twirling around ecstatically. Similar images are repeated through the film, but they turn grimmer, reflecting a growing problem with panic attacks. High on edibles,...

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