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Day One (2015)

PG-13 | | Short, Drama, Thriller | March 2015 (USA)
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On her first day in Afghanistan, an interpreter for the US Army is forced to deliver the child of an enemy bomb-maker.

Director:

Henry Hughes

Writers:

Dawn DeVoe (story), Henry Hughes (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Layla Alizada ... Feda
Navid Negahban ... Dr. Nasir
Alexia Pearl ... Naheed
Bill Zasadil Bill Zasadil ... Lieutenant Adams
Alain Washnevsky ... Jalal
Yanellie Ireland ... Mina
Shari Vasseghi ... Nazaneen
Mustafa Haidari ... Gulab
Jesse Luken ... Sergeant McCloud
Ali Olomi ... Omar
Dave Racki Dave Racki ... Private Hughes
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael McCarthy ... Private Spear
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Storyline

Inspired by a true story, an Afghan-American woman on the heels of a divorce joins the US Military as an interpreter. On her first day of deployment in Afghanistan, her unit searches out the remote house of a bomb-maker. When the bomb-maker's pregnant wife goes into labor, the interpreter must go beyond the call of duty to deliver her breech child.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An AFI Thesis Film See more »

Genres:

Short | Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dari

Release Date:

March 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Day One: Lexus See more »

Filming Locations:

Afghanistan

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (5.1 surround)

Color:

Color | Color (DCP)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Nasir is named so as a nod to the character Abu Nasir that Navid Negahban played in the series Homeland See more »

Connections

Featured in The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Live Action (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Get comfortable being uncomfortable
24 February 2016 | by StevePulaskiSee all my reviews

Co-writer and director Henry Hughes realized his filmmaking dream after his two tours of duty in Afghanistan, and with a little assistance from Star Wars creator George Lucas, crafted his pipe-dream of a short film into a reality with a potential for an Oscar. The result is Day One, a mostly effective short film revolving around an interpreter for the United States Army, who is put in the compromising position when she is forced to deliver a baby for an enemy bombmaker's wife. The baby's position has shifted in the mother's uterus, to the point where its hand is sticking out of the mother's crotch without any discernible pulse. The only option, as told by the doctor, is to cut the baby's arm off and extract its corpse piece-by-piece.

The horrifying bloodbath races through the mind of the woman (Layla Alizada), who never believed she'd have to do anything close to this. Time is running out, the mother is in excruciating pain, and dread and uncertainty looms over the household like a gray cloud.

For the first half of its twenty-five minute runtime, Hughes prefers to capture the situation in a way that's largely naturalistic; one that emphasizes ambient noise and appropriate sounds of the location rather than mawkish music. However, but the third act, the short slowly devolves into incredulous territory, where the impossible becomes the possible and the conflict at hand is solved all too easily. The circumstance that was potentially catastrophic a moment ago has turned into optimism ripe for emotional exploitation and the short concludes down a path I was crossing my fingers it wouldn't take the whole time.

Still, Day One is worth it for the strong performance by Alizada, who manages to command the screen pretty admirably throughout the entire film, and Hughes really knows how to craft an unforgivably tense environment. With that, Day One seems like its inching towards greatness only to hesitantly back off in favor of a safer route most people would find easier to swallow.


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