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'Bleeding Heart's' sisterly bonding a lightweight soap

'Bleeding Heart's' sisterly bonding a lightweight soap
Zosia Mamet and Jessica Biel as Shiva and May in "Bleeding Heart." (Aaron Epstein / Tribeca Film Festival)

"Bleeding Heart" revolves around the union of two sisters who've never met.

As a yoga instructor, May (Jessica Biel) exudes an aura of calm, composure and balance. But she's apparently not over the fact that she was adopted as a child. She manages to track down her biological sister, Shiva (Zosia Mamet), a sex worker stuck in a stormy relationship with volatile pimp Cody (Joe Anderson). May immediately injects herself into the life of this practical stranger and makes it her mission to rescue Shiva from her abuser.

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May's business and romantic partner, Dex (Edi Gathegi), is none too pleased about not being consulted on the decisions to invite Shiva over for the night and misappropriate company funds to help her make rent. While his concerns seem legitimate, they apparently suffocate May as much as Cody's death threats debilitate Shiva.

From there, this Lifetime movie fodder evolves into a full-fledged action thriller. But writer-director Diane Bell suggests that these women are so steeped in low self-esteem and codependency that they would not be able to leave their men if they didn't have each other.

Unfortunately, this neediness and desperation for love remain unexamined. It pales in comparison to the recent epic saga tweeted by Aziah King about two strippers' unapologetic road trip from Detroit to Tampa, Fla., that went viral on the Internet.

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"Bleeding Heart."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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