Winner of the Cinefondation first prize at Cannes in 2013, “Needle,” a short film by Tehran-born Anahita Ghajvinizadeh gives us a sharp, detailed portrait, shot in Chicago, of the silent strength of a stoic preteen (Florence Winners), building quietly to a truly tense final scene that tells us everything we need to know about its characters, as much as by what’s off screen as what’s on. As she rides with her self-absorbed mother (Moe Teitiks), who’s taking her to get her ears pierced, we feel an undercurrent of anxiety beneath the rhythms of an ordinary day. Her estranged father (Noah Lepawsky) is a doctor; as he prepares to pierce her ears he can't help noticing his wife is wearing gloves: she's a germaphobe. They get into a fight over whether he's performing the procedure hygienically and mom ends up taking the girl to a strip-mall type operation. A wad of sky blue chewing gum moves through the film smeared to various dirty surfaces, an emblem of the girl’s silent rebellion.