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Still from Showtime's Cusp (Image via IMDb)

'Cusp': 3 reasons why Showtime documentary is relevant in an era of toxic masculinity

Showtime's much-awaited documentary, Cusp, dropped recently and is a reality check the world needed.

Directed by Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill, Cusp, follows three wild-spirited girls as they live out their fever-dream, watching their adolescence clash with the need for personal agency. The coming-of-age film captures authentic moments of friendship and toxic masculinity.


Cusp observes the casual festering of open emotional wounds like the remnants of s*xual trauma, powerlessness and toxicity that is normalized in today's world.

'Cusp' is a must-watch


Cusp had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 30 and the film is available to watch on Showtime. The film is produced by Isabel Bethencourt, Parker Hill and Zachary Luke Kislevitz.


The official synopsis for Showtime's Cusp reads:

"Three teenage girls open up about their intense emotional lives as they roam bonfire parties, childhood bedrooms, and fast food spots in the lazy days of a Texas summer. Struggling for agency in a world ruled by toxic masculinity, they rely on their friendships with one another to make the transition to the adult world."

1) The documentary focuses on adolescence and friendships


Cusp revolves around three teenage girls, it makes sure to highlight what's most important at that age: friendship. Teenage years are considered crucial not just physically but mentally and in today's world, being a teen is somewhat hard.


It sheds light on what an average teen does during the day, like spending time with friends and boyfriends at parties, bonfires and McDonald’s. It also shifts its focus on the individual personality of the girls and how different they are from each other yet the closest of friends. Teenage is like the peak of friendship where one meets many people and learns about the world.

2) It addresses the culture of toxic masculinity


Cusp throws much-needed light on today's culture of toxic masculinity. As the movie revolves around teenagers, most of its scenes include parties and one thing that was observed is that the girls were quieter around the boys and younger as well.

A typical frat boy approach, the boys had cars, houses to party in, alcohol access, and other substances. They also somewhere leverage physical strength and consent of their terms. One boy is heard saying this:

"She was intoxicated and he was intoxicated, too. It’s not r*pe if they’re both intoxicated."

As per Autumn, girls are scared to say no because guys are too powerful and never listen. 2019 #MeToo and Time’s Up movements seem like a distant, vague idea to the three girls with hyper-local social media.

3) It throws on the realities of being a teen


The trio in Cusp embody an array of contrasts as they physically seem young, but they are emotionally already exhausted with their lives. Two of the three girls were sexually abused as kids, so their respective first times were nothing but r*pe.

Thanks to the influence of social media, the young girls mimic a somewhat 'Black voice' and internet slang used by Black people but don't have Black friends. Like every young teen, they too long to leave their homes when they turn 18 but do not mention their plans.

Cusp is now streaming on Showtime.


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Edited by
Srijan Sen
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