A 2005 drama film written and directed by Alison Murray and starring Ellen Page as Sherry, a young runaway fleeing from a dysfunctional family. She is seduced by Tiger into joining a collective named S*P*A*R*K, standing for Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge. The leader Harry becomes gradually more authoritative and Sherry's mother Rose joins the group.The film is a Road Movie, shot in England, Germany, France and Portugal. The film had a very small opening, but Ellen Page's outbreak as an actress brought it back to the public eye. Some of points of interest include it's harsh realism, presentation of a rarely represented portion of society, and depiction of a complex grey/gray relationship between a mother and daughter. It's overexposed contrasted landscapes are also a beautiful love letter to Europe. Also, Page shavesher head and finally playsBatgirl.The movie may be viewed here.
Ambiguously Gay: Blade. His first reaction upon seeing Harry is nothing short of awe, and he goes from a delicate feminine demeanor in the beginning of the movie to outright camp mannerisms in the second half. Not to mention, the actor's only other credit was in Queer as Folk.
Based on a True Story: Based on the experiences of Alison Murray when running away in Europe and joining a cult.
Being Tortured Makes You Evil: After spending twenty four hours in the Pit, Blade has become one of Harry's most faithful and outspoken supporters.
Bifauxnen: With her buzzcut and baggy clothes, Sherry looks very much like a prepubescent boy.
Bittersweet Ending: Nancy dies down the Pit from her asthma attack, but this convinces Sherry, Axe and Dog to finally leave the cult.
Broken Bird: Dog. Whether this is caused or merely exploited by Harry is hard to tell.
Fake Defector: Harry charges several people to break rules and speak negatively of the group, so he can test whether the others will denounce them or not. Sherry suspects Nancy is one of them. She isn't.
It's also possible that the "tests" were just a ruse so he could ensure that anyone who spoke out would get reported.
Forehead of Doom: Sherry, especially with her greasy hair hanging off the sides.
Axe:"Some guys will do that, you know. They act like they can take care of you, but when it comes down to it they wind up saving their own asses." And a few years later when Lokos and Page pair up again in The Tracey Fragments, guess what happens?
Mad Axe follows his whims and spends his time playing with Manson, a child. Like Sherry, he loses his element of innocence - in his case when Manson dies. After that, he becomes a far more quiet Only Sane Man.
Nancy is a fun loving thrill seeker, who left a comfortable home out of mere boredom. One shot in the van focuses on her sucking her thumb.
Blade is seen cuddling a manikin in the van, very much like a child would cuddle a teddy bear. He has a very vulnerable demeanor in the first half of the movie.
The Masochism Tango: The choreography seems to depict a filial version of this between Sherry and Rose.
Straw Hypocrite: Harry condemns a conformist society while demanding complete obedience and unity from the cult members. Also, he has sex with the women of the cult while the rules he created himself forbid having sex at all. He then punishes them for breaking the rules and "making him break the rule" while he gets off scot-free.
Sherry herself qualifies, as she considers herself an outsider and seeks a path of her own, yet conforms in order to be accepted into SPARK. Although, Alison Murray did describe the main appeal of SPARK as being an opportunity for peace and companionship without having to become part of a rotten society.
Surprisingly Sudden Death: Manson. Axe playfully flips him by the legs into a dumpster, but some sort of debris slices through a major artery in Manson's neck on impact. He dies in just about a minute.