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In Descent, acclaimed actress Rosario Dawson plays the most controversial character of her career: a promising college student who becomes bent on seeking revenge after a brutal date rape. The feature debut of co-writer/director/producer Talia Lugacy, Descent is a film that unnervingly tackles
some of the country’s most taboo subjects.
Maya’s (Dawson) life seems blessed. She’s made many friends and her professors think she has a promising academic future. The boys can’t resist her natural beauty and ambiguous ethnicity. Still, Maya feels alone. Many think Jared’s (Chad Faust) life is blessed. Things come easy for him. Too easy.
Maya and Jared meet at party and flirt, he eagerly, she more cautiously. She’s sharp, and he’s persuasive. But as they flirt in tones familiar and suggestive, they surprise one another. They begin to see each other, discreetly. Finally, Maya agrees to visit his place. Passions quickly escalate as they grind in sync to a primal beat. Very suddenly, Maya realizes it’s going far too fast. She tries to pull away but he won’t let go. He ignores her pleas. Jared savors her struggle. What fallows is a degradation so brutal and raw, it seems to echo from another time.
After this violation, Maya breaks away from everything familiar. She ventures into an underground club world where she meets a charming bartender Adrian (Marcus Patrick), who persuades her to DJ with him. Perched above the crowd, Maya is exhilarated by the anonymous sea of interlocking limbs. She is being lured into another universe, a visceral scene that feels liberating. She enters the new semester transformed: bold and dynamic in a world that suddenly seems small and protected to her.
When Maya next sees Jared, he’s unchanged, his all-American charm in full force. But he doesn’t seem to notice her and this further humiliates her. She’s a changed woman too. She wants to meet him again-this time on her own terms, on her own turf, as part of her own agenda. He comes over to her rundown apartment. He is eager, as ever. At first it’s like when they first met. She reminds him that she is in control tonight. She tells him
to removes his clothes and fastens a silk scarf over his eyes. What follows this seductions is an act of revenge that renders Maya just as vicious as her attacker…
Descent is an unforgettable tale of innocence shattered, dreams destroyed, and vengeance fulfilled, featuring a shattering, career-defining performance from Dawson.
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