Directed by Angie Wang
Official Selection, 2017 CAAMFest
Official Selection, 2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
In this trip through the drug-laden 1980s, the only thing bigger than Angie Wang’s era-appropriate hair is her New Jersey swagger and bravado. The Chinese American teen leaves her single father at home and travels by bus across the country to attend a high-profile Bay Area private university. After losing her financial aid, Angie uses the college laboratory to make her own brand of ecstasy to sell at campus parties, eventually getting herself deeper into a world of drugs, sex, and abuse that is all-too-familiar for her liking.
In this semi-autobiographical debut feature from writer-director Angie Wang, CARDINAL X is catapulted by the powerful and charismatic Annie Q (HBO’s The Leftovers), who casts a spell on the audience the same way her character leaves everybody in her college completely intoxicated by her allure. But Angie’s aggressive, no-nonsense approach to life is more complex than just being from Jersey. Brief flashbacks throughout the film only hint at the trauma of her past that actively works to shape her future. But obstacles be damned; sometimes, you just have to roll with it. –James Paguyo