Sam B.’s review published on Letterboxd:
A radical masterwork from 23-year old Isiah Medina, "88:88" shatters any preconcieved notions of what cinema can and should be, disregarding common form, technique, structure, or influence. This is avant-garde cinema that smashes the barrier between concept and execution, meaning and visceral experience, a film that flows like water yet manages to elegantly express an entire worldview.
The closest relative here is probably "Goodbye to Language," but this film has perspective and empathy where Godard's film had intellectualism and anger. Besides, Medina isn't conerned with "scenes" here, but moments, images, fleeting experiences...as if all of space and time were compressed into a single moment.
The ramifications here are political as well; (the title refers), and the images suggests different life paths, different socioeconomics status through the quality of images, the cameras used, the sounds heard, the images repeated. This is a light shed brightly and insistently on the poverty of Canada, the injustices of the world. Yet underneath all of this is a central warmth, and empathy, a love for family and friends. This is a singular voice of an artist, but a person is not just themselves; they are everything around them, they are an accumulation of experience. I say this all the time, because most films I love are explicitly and thematically "about" this concept. Medina is revolutionary in that he uses this as the accepted baseline.
Most films that experiment with time remain rigidly confined to the notion of "going forward," chronology essential, even when toyed with. "88:88" acknowledges cinema as a way of experience not just space in a different dimension, but time as well. The technique used here is earth-shattering in how it so deeply understands what makes classic cinema work, but then disregards all the surface-level structural stuff that's simply there because it's customary and it 'works.' Who the fuck cares what we're used to when we can get something like this, something that can change the way we see the world?
I....my....this is the kind of cinema that speaks to me...this is what I want to do...i "get" this...this is inspring to me...I've found the way I can express myself...I feel like I've seen a new color.
I love this movie. See it.