Stuck in a dark limbo between life and death, a deceased soldier Nathan Rijckx collects shadows of dying men and women to buy back his own second chance at life. Obsessed by a girl he met ... See full summary »
Tom Van Avermaet
Peter Van den Eede
Set against the dramatic landscape of contemporary Afghanistan and the National sport of Buzkashi - a brutal game of horse polo played with a dead goat - Buzkashi Boys tells the coming of ... See full summary »
1994 or thereabouts. There is a civil war on in Burundi. A genocidal conflict opposing Hutus and Tutsis... We are witnesses to one of those sadly frequent episodes : the attack by the ... See full summary »
I just completed my yearly pilgrimage to see the Oscar-nominated Live Action Shorts--tomorrow it's the Animated Shorts. This was a very unusual crop of shorts this year, as three of the five nominees were comedies--and usually the films are mostly deadly serious. Only two films are serious this year and NONE are about death, Nazis or other sad stuff! As I said, it's an unusual year. Now I am not complaining--this might just be the most enjoyable group of films I've seen in years.
Of all the films, "Raju" is by far the darkest of the shorts. If the Academy is specifically looking for dark, then this film definitely has the edge. And, if "The Shore" wasn't such an exceptional short against it, I would bet that this darkness would please those who vote on these shorts. It's very well made and very compelling--it's a story you won't soon forget.
The short is a joint German-Indian project. A German couple is in Calcutta to obtain a child from an orphanage. Shortly after they receive the boy, the new father takes the kid for a visit of the city--and then tragedy strikes. However, what the viewer doesn't realize is that there is FAR more to the story than that and it ends up with the new parents facing a serious emotional and moral dilemma. Complex and gripping. Also should add that I was REALLY impressed by the male lead in this one--he showed A LOT without even talking in many scenes!
UPDATE: "The Shore" ended up winning this year.
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