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22 days to watch
The New Auteurs
246 Ratings

The Plagiarists

Directed by Peter Parlow
United States, 2019
The New Auteurs


When a young white couple’s car breaks down, they’re helped by an older black man who inspires them with creative wisdom. When they discover months later that the words he spoke might not be his own, they’re horrified, fixating on his “crime” while forced to confront the originality of their lives.

Our take

The latest film by artist James N. Kienitz Wilkins, whose bracingly clever works we’ve shown in the past, and co-writer Robin Schavoir is a prickly, unpredictable comedy. Wilkins co-wrote, edited, and shot this self-satiric indie as an exploration of authenticity and a riposte to white privilege.

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A social and philosophical investigation disguised as a gleefully barbed satire, “The Plagiarists,” directed by Peter Parlow from a script by James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir, deserves to be the summer’s art house conversation starter.
June 27, 2019
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In a way, The Plagiarists’s credit roll is as crucial to decoding the film’s slippery meaning as any of the material within the film proper—itself something of a formal innovation.
March 29, 2019
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The film is dead-on in its depiction of an endlessly fractious, mildly nightmarish couple and very funny, both explicitly and subtextually.
February 14, 2019
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What are people saying?

  • saitosouta's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    I think many American indiependent films appeared in Berlin instead of Sundance are ultra-low budget yet variously eccentric like "Note on an Appearance" or Josephine Decker's works. This mysteriously little gem is such kind of film. Although too raw, it has a highly delightful surprise like philosophical conversation or unexpecting use of Karl Ove Knausgård's prose. I hope this weird film gets audiences' attention.

  • Juan's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    Muy buena. Pero hay que saber apreciarla: no hay aquí mucha acción ni una elaborada trama, sino un juego de imágenes (tal vez grabada con una vieja cámara Beta), así como una reflexión irónica sobre la tensión entre los lenguajes de la literatura y el cine. Además, hay una reflexión ultramoderna sobre el plagio y la originalidad. The Plagiarists termina siendo, en sí misma, un divertido y delicioso collage.

  • J's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    2.5 stars, rounded up. Its "flaws" do sort of contribute to "the point" of the film, but they're still flaws and this was a pretty uncomfortable viewing experience. I found certain elements to be intriguing, others to be dismissible; and the whole did not ultimately feel geared toward one set over the other.

  • jb666's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    Rawness, lack of set and decoration and accompanying good acting achieves a perception of living room authenticity. In parallel, accomplishes an ongoing suspense. Dialogs are reflecting middle-class millennial unease in honesty - thought provoking. A curious James Wilkins seems like behind the whole show, possibly finding a masochistic joy in succumbing himself into the role of a failed filmmaker. Liked a lot.

  • Gianni Romeo's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    Complex argument in a complex - despite his appearances - movie. Peter Parlow (aka James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir) is a plagiarist too? Or is he not, because he "quotes" the texts used in the credits (and also the music)? Or the other plagiarist is just Allison and this has nothing to do with the film itself? Anyway, this is a great film made with so few money. Loved Betacam cinematography. 4,5

  • Drew Outcalt's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    The style of direction that was chosen for this film is very unique, it turns to the more low resolution filming and it is quite the pleasure to watch. Besides the direction, I couldn't find myself personally invested in the plot or the characters Anna was the only one I truly cared about and the rest of them just simply weren't interesting enough for me to get hooked. I am just as confused after the film than during

  • larry john page's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    this is a terrifically difficult film to love the characters even when one is being accordingly pissed on to a deeper meaning to the rapist to a self closetting, etcetera in a good way. the filming is superb and poetically arty, since the dialogue can be a monologue, prose in now a wall engraved. keeping the 'u' in when is an american able to understand another, there is a tribalism and Geronimo is becoming white lj

  • Derick Crucius's rating of the film The Plagiarists

    A fantastic exercise and a beautiful example of how to provoke an audience. I'm pretty sure Peter Parlow isn't a real person, either....but perhaps i'm wrong. If you look at this film in a literal sense and hated it for story, style, cinematography, etc., then you completely missed the point.

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