Broadway assistant director- choreographer Coy Middlebrook’s heartfelt short family drama “For Spacious Skies” packs more emotional punch and story telling than many of this year’s feature films. Three brothers take a redemptive car trip played out against the 2008 election.
The partially autobiographical story (aptly scripted by Kevin Allen Jackson) is a beautifully mounted portrait of America at a crossroads.
Gay novelist Clay (Jonah Blechman- “Another Gay Movie”) and his ex-con white supremacist brother Eli (also a substance abuser) take their addicted brother Kevin (Gabe Fazio, “Kevin” (“The Place Beyond The Pines”) to rehab.
Eli’s wife Meg (Amanda Detmer) leaves him, literally. She drives away in the street, refusing to drop him and taking the kids. At first, Eli doesn’t come clean, fronting to Clay that Meg needed the car.
Clay’s flown back from the city to drive his brothers. Silence reigns in the car.
The 2008 election, the then longest and priciest in Democratic party history pitted Hilary Clinton (America’s first viable female candidate ) and Barack Obama. Change was i the air.
The family dysfunction which fills the car is a mirror of the dysfunctional America, as bitterly polarized as in the era of the Civil War. “Are you seeing anyone” Eli ask Clay, conveniently side-steping the fact that he’s been living with a partner for years.
After dropping Kevin at rehab. the older brothers start back, On the radio Obama is declared the winner. As Obama incant “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” Clay stands up shouting, “We did it!” . Then Eli, finally allowed to cast a vote, proudly goes to his polling place . Like many grace notes left in the film’s subtext, we can only guess who he votes for.
Andres Faucher, “Eli” ( “Ready To Talk”) formed Lobo Productions in 2001, which, after a string of documentaries, produced this short.
Producer Rowan Brooks, co-producer Andrea Foertsch, Spanish DP Raquel Fernandez, editor Fabienne Rawley and composer JJ McGeehan turned in work of the highest calibre. Even the end credits song “It’s Not Alright By Me” Vintage Trouble was perfection.