Shot with non-professional actors (including the filmmaker herself) in the intimate black-and-white palette of older home movies, In This Short Life works the blurry margin between documentary and fiction. The film follows four mysteriously intertwined lives in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles: an elderly woman ambivalently embarking on an affair; a mentally unstable man being evicted from his home; a frustrated actor waiting for his breakthrough; and a young female artist forced by a much-desired yet inconveniently-timed pregnancy to reassess the priorities in her life