Screen Anarchy: Sundance 2023 Review: DIVINITY, Provocative, Absurdist Lo-Fi Sci-Fi

On September 12, 2023
By Ryan Menge

There’s a fine line between ambition and pretension.

It’s a line writer-director Eddie Alcazar (The Vandal, Perfect, Fuckkkyouuu) repeatedly skirts in his first feature-length film, Divinity, an absurdist, po-faced, lo-fi sci-fi film shot in gloriously luminous, numinous black-and-white.

As a taste of things to come, Divinity features former Disney Channel star turned straight-to-VOD performer Bella Thorne in an extended cameo as the enigmatic Ziva, the laconic leader of a procreative cult, and Stephen Dorff as Jaxxon Pierce, a second-generation (mad) scientist, and part-time pitchman obsessed with perfecting his father’s formula for immortality. There’s one minor catch, however, to said immortality formula: It renders regular users infertile in exchange for health, well-being, and an extended lifespan.

Divinity pivots on Jaxxon’s perfection of the formula his late father, Sterling (Scott Bakula, cameoing through video logs), created. Perfected, the formula will not only bring additional untold riches to the already uber-wealthy younger Pierce but solidify his reputation as his late father’s equal, if not better. Although Jaxxon obsesses over perfecting the formula, he also finds time to indulge in physical pleasures, including a romp with a live-in girlfriend, Lynx (porn star Emily Willis) that serves more as a distraction than an act of physical or emotional intimacy.


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