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AYA (Danica De La Rey) plans to meet with BAYODE (Richard Gau) who she'd meet online. This against the wishes and advice of her best friend PAMELA (Keketso Montshiwa) who decides for safety... See full summary »
Danica De La Rey,
It's Sabbath eve. Rachel sneaks out of her religious parents' house to go out with her secular friends. On their way to the party an accident happens and Rachel must face the consequences of her decisions.
At thirty-nine minutes, Aya is by far the longest of the 2015 Oscar nominated live action short films, and alongside The Phone Call, it's the best, as it focuses on an unlikely friendship that develops over complete and total chance. We focus on Aya (Sarah Adler), who is awaiting the arrival of her friend at the airport. We see a gaggle of drivers, holding signs and awaiting the arrival of their own passengers who they need to escort to their appropriate destination. When one driver has to move his car, he momentarily bears the responsibility of seeking out his particular client on another driver, who needs to take off and get his own client where he needs to be. Aya, the first person the perplexed driver sees, hands the extra sign to her, and sure enough, the client, named Mr. Overby (Ulrich Thomson), shows up and expects a ride.
Aya impulsively ditches her friend before her arrival to take Mr. Overby where he needs to be. It's not his fault that the other driver was incompetent, we believe is Aya's rationale to doing what she is doing, but through a conversation between the two about following orders do we get a sense of Aya as a person. While Mr. Overby believes in never following ones' heart and that we as human beings should be rational when it comes to our decision making, Aya is more impulsive and wayward, not quite understanding what she is doing at all times (like now) but feels a nudge to do what seems right in a momentary sense.
Aya is a beautiful short film because it understands the beauty of character and character motivations, confining two individuals, who should've never met each other in the first place, to a small space (a vehicle) for an extended period of time, as they embark on a peculiar destination and enjoy the company of one another along the way. Directors Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis understand that it's possible for Aya not to know why she does what she does, but to focus on her selfless behavior and her embracement of all that is impulsive is a delightfully original concept explored to great effect here, given such a short runtime. Aya works because it's not only emotionally honest, but rich and full in the sense of character exploration.
Starring: Sarah Adler and Ulrich Thomson. Directed by: Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis.
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