I saw this short film on CBC at midnight and I found it to be certainly worth the watch for only being 17 minutes long. In my life, I have certainly met people who have taken their good intentions about helping the homeless (feeding the hungry, saving the planet, being organic, etc.) into action, and I wonder why I'm not doing the same. Has the main character, Oliver, sold himself and his photography skills out for a steady pay-check? He's always wanted to save the people of the planet by photographing the world, bringing the third world countries to the public eye. Instead, he gets to enjoy the benefits of engaging in capitalism, buying his girlfriend, Brianne, all the nice things with his big house, computer, and TV that he can refuse to share with the less fortunate people. He takes pictures of the food you see in the menus at restaurants and in advertisements instead. Food, placed perfectly in its dish with all sorts of makeup applied in ways that it can not possibly naturally look in real life. Oliver's idealistic wife volunteers their house to help a touring benefit group cut down costs. Shanti Baba Ram is a man sure of himself, who believes he is good; who knows he is good. He's adopted several underprivileged children to join his dance troupe, raising money for a charity to help more underprivileged children. His selfless philanthropy contrasts with his delusion. He helps himself to Oliver's computer and helpfully 'aids' Brianne in a very intimate hot yoga session, but refuses to let his dancing youths accept a small snack Brianne makes for them because he says they should not accept gifts. He seems to think Oliver and Brianne's time and generosity are his if they're not gifts (as his adopted children quietly chew on rice cakes because they can not accept any of their host's food).
The interesting details of food photography and adopted travelling dance troupes, along with director Steve Rosenberg's and writer Jonathan Williams talent for showing characters ambiguous in their nature; undefined in terms of good and bad. And the main character and his wife, unsure whether they can still be good people even if they don't act as Shanti Baba Ram does.
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