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Movie review: 'Offsprung' is social commentary at its dark humor best
A slightly futuristic film takes a ridiculous premise in order to reflect the absurdity of social-political outrage in current times from one woman's perspective, doing so with razor sharp wit.

Any film fan or even casual movie buff is aware that the tone of the film industry has changed over the past few years. Formulaic Hollywood has given way to the perspective and stories of the indie film scene. While the superhero blockbusters still exist and claim record setting box-office returns, the majority of stories being presented are much more adventurous than in previous decades. Viewers want fresh new ideas and entertainment is the marriage of creativity and appeal to an audience. 

Offsprung is indicative of these characteristics in every way. The film is…well, unusual. There's no negative connotation in this statement, unusual is a very benevolent description of this production. Offsprung manifests the same futuristic and critical statements made by such iconic films as Brazil and Clockwork Orange.

It uses dark humour to reflect back many of the social and political occurrences and debates existing in present day and does so in a biting manner, all the while tempered with a bit of ridiculous humour. As the indie film scene has grown in both size and popularity, studios have leaned towards creating more inventive story-based productions.

Offsprung is a whimsical fairytale. It's a science fiction fantasy. The open absurdity of certain facets of the story communicates the exaggerated actions and attitudes of certain aspects of society. When Gina May Allegory immaculately conceives a litter of bunnies, her parents wed her off to a manipulative politician who plans on exploiting his new wife and her offspring. Gina May quickly gains a celebrity following, but soon society's infatuation turns to animosity as a hunt commences to terminate the rabbits. With the help of a brave doctor, Gina May fights back against the mass market mob to save herself and her kin. This story displays the mayhem that a pop culture society brings upon a simple minded new mother.

There's a tangential approach to Offsprung that actually makes the film more endearing. As we follow the mother and babies from her home to a government lab and then fleeing both the news media and religious zealots, the story dives deeper into the rabbit hole (pun intended) causing greater acceptance of the hyperbolic nature of the story and characters. Director Rain Zheng concedes that she was drawn to work on the production because of this. Zheng states, "I was looking to make something big. I wanted a challenge. I wanted a piece of material that would allow me to go absolutely crazy as a director, playing with production design, characters, wardrobe, camera, lights, blocking, music...everything. I found all of this in the script for Offsprung. It was an experience that required everyone involved to dig deep and see how far they could take their creativity. To call it a challenge is an understatement. I personally developed a bit of a Red Bull addiction, downing four cans a day to stay sharp and on top of everything." None of this manic behaviour (fueled by the energy drink) was apparent when the filmmakers took part in a Q&A panel at the Women's Independent Film Festival. What was obvious was the positive reaction and connection that many audience members felt from seeing Offsprung.

The team behind creating and presenting Offsprung consisted of citizens of multiple countries (Zheng herself is from China) giving more weight to the idea that the story of Esther and those who wish to present it relate to the challenges of the feminine gender regardless of their culture and country of origin. Esther is another sign that the times are a changing' and women are ready to speak up via art, social media, or by any means necessary.

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