Paradox Lake


Bottom 20% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2002 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Matt Wolf, Jessicca Fuchs, Phe Caplan, Jason Miller, John Gelin, Ernie Jurez

Non-Cast Credits

Przemyslaw Shemie Reut, Ken Kushner, Shemie Reut, Wieslaw Saniewski, Shemie Reut, Christine Hamer, Maciej Staniecki


Paradox Lake is a film of such hypnotic grace and penetrating insight that its effects will continue to be felt long after the last image has faded from the screen. Profoundly unique in style and substance, its organic nature defies categorization. Combining elements of vérité with innovative cinematography, it could only be created by someone with extreme passion for, and extensive knowledge of, its fascinating subjects.

The film follows Matt Wolf, who flees New York City to work upstate as a counselor at a camp for autistic children. There he encounters a world he never knew existed—a world in which people are trapped in their won minds, unable to communicate their needs or feelings, living perpetual prisons. The story unfolds so subtly and with such authenticity that when it ends, a flood of emotion is unleashed that has been kept back by the fear of missing a single moment.

Shemie Reut (director, editor, cinematographer, and cowriter) reveals a world and its people kept very much on the fringe of society. Integrating a sublimely reflective narrative into insurgent world of the autistic camp, he allows the real people and locations to shape the film's development.

The stars of the film are undeniably the children. Presenting an exuberance tat mystifies and captivates, they scintillate on the screen with their unbridled energy. Matt Wolf and all the counselors should also be given credit for their admirable ability to be unaffected by the camera.

Beautifully shot on video, Paradox Lake is an intense, mind-numbing entrance into a fascinating and complicated world.


Trevor Groth (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.