A skit more than a short, and structured as such, but still interesting and balanced
I came to this short film from it being listed in some recent work by Yulin Kuang, although I had previously watched some YouTube work of its actress, Anna Akana. Akana's stuff on YouTube is very socially aware, quite funny, but also has good balance – so as an Asian woman she can claim a lot of high ground on topics compared to a white man such as myself, however for the vast majority of topics she tackles or experiences she talks about, she has good self- awareness and generally intelligent balance to her material (even if she is also a comedian, so has exaggerations for this effect).
This is particularly important in this short skit (and it is a skit, rather than a short film) because it is actually a lot more balanced and challenging than the title and premise suggests. In the new world that Sara finds herself transported to, there is a lot of positives (women not having to display masculine styles to feel like they fit in) but at the same time the plot sees not a change to the workplace, but just women taking the male role. As a result Sara still has reservations about the objectification of men, and the lesser treatment for the minority share of the employees. I liked that she herself is challenged on her assumptions, since that promotion still is out of reach – so it may not have been her gender alone that caused this.
This means the skit has a good base of balance; yes equality is needed, but this is not to say that the target is the complete flipping of the current dynamic. This sounds an obvious thing, but when you have opinion-makers such as the Huffington post boasting about their editorial staff being all young women and overwhelmingly white, then it is more obvious why I appreciate a more balanced voice as provided by Akana here. In terms of direction the film is solid work as usual, and the quality does stand a bit above the majority of Akana's YouTube output. The structure could have been improved; it is a skit of course, but it frames itself as a narrative and as a result a stronger ending (or at least an ending of some sort) would have made it a more complete piece. It is still one of her skits though, and it is amusing and an interesting idea – but it is the balance to the voice that made it resonate with me and be a welcome film in a world of division.
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