A very 'straight' documentary but really hits the heart
This is an odd find in an online short film, because it feels incredibly professional and expensive – with credits which suggest the use of a helicopter for some of the opening scenes. The reason for this is perhaps that this short was taken from the footage for a much bigger project for national television. Apparently this footage didn't make the cut, but the director had these characters lingering with him, so in a period of enforced downtime from shooting, he found them in the edit and made this short film.
One can see why the people stuck in his mind. They are a mix of the vicious and the self-destructive, but what combines them all is their reflection on who they are and what is next. The film draws them together with the idea of them all in a purgatory state where they await judgement and whatever lies beyond. This is a nice device, but what makes the film work is the 4 people selected. Their self- awareness and yet inability to progress from that point is fascinating and very recognizable for me (in terms of knowing your self but not being able to change it – not killing people). The people really make a mark and the film lets them.
The narration doesn't add more than a frame, which is a wise move, as it allows the people to speak and set the tone. It is still a very 'straight' documentary in terms of what it does, and it is very televisual which I didn't care for, but in the end it has a real kick to the emotions, and it is this that works well.
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