One of the purposes of the Heartland Film Festival is to give viewers the opportunity to see films they may never be able to see anywhere else. "Hide Your Smiling Faces" is just such a film. It was the grand prize winner in the feature narrative category, but will probably leave many viewers scratching their heads instead of nodding in agreement. This is a different film, an unconventional film, and it will help to know that going in. "Hide Your Smiling Faces" works to evoke a feeling, rather than tell a story. There is very little plot, sparse dialogue, and not much character growth. Instead we are given moments in the characters lives.
If there is not a story, there is certainly a theme: death. Just about every scene deals with death or the reaction to death. The very first shot is a natural death in nature, then the movie unfolds into the effects of death on children, and subconsciously, on our own lives. Practically every scene has a new form of death and a new reaction to it.
What may frustrate some viewers is the question "What are we suppose to take away from this?" For some, it may simply remind them of their own mortality. Others may remember a moment in their childhood where they experienced death. And for others, they take very little away, simply getting to see a movie they would never see anywhere else.
Heartland Film Festival - Schedule and reviews