Art imitates life, it mirrors the angst felt collectively at the heart of society and holds, reflecting truths to viewers. As the world becomes more interconnected, and globalization goes from phenomenon to the status quo, the result is that human beings are closer than ever. The linkages formed and driven by economic decisions, and political and social actions that spill across geographies are undeniable. It can no longer be said that a single country’s problems are exclusively its own; they are often the result of interference and go back over generations. In this year’s, 2018 Oscar Nominated Short Films, The collection of films reflects the reality and interwoven relationships between people, generations, and subject matter. What is refreshing about the short films nominated in this category this year is that for the most part they’re incredibly strong, exceptionally well made, and they work together to reflect the current realities around the world. At least three of the films are based on true stories, and all of them deal with biases and perceptions of those who are different. The five films in this category represent the power of Art to reflect what viewers see almost daily in a way that gives them room to process events, understand situations, and think critically.
Director: Reed Van Dyk
[Moose with sunglasses]
To American audiences, this may be the most germane short fil of this year’s Oscar-nominated short live action films. Inspired by a 911 call placed during a school shooting incident in Atlanta, Georgia. Seventeen people were killed and more than 15 injured in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on 14 February 2018. Following the incident, the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety reported that the total number of school shootings in the United States since the beginning of the year is 18 (about three per week). These numbers are contested, and analysis reveals that they can be broken down by which happened during school hours, or which resulted in no injuries, but no matter how you slice it, the real question is how many school shootings are too many shootings? DEKALB ELEMENTARY depicts a situation from the inside. The characters are complex and the acting superb. Dekalb Elementary is not to be missed!
MY NEPHEW EMMETT
Director: Kevin Wilson, JR.
[Moose with sunglasses]
Emmett Till, a Black 14-year-old boy from Chicago visited family in Money, Mississippi. During his visit to Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market, he reportedly flirted with Carolyn Bryant, though that was never proven, but even if he had, there is nothing wrong with that-- except that this happened in 1955, and the woman was White and Emmett was not. Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband Roy and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, seized Emmett from his great-uncle’s house. They beat Emmet, they shot Emmett, they strung barbed wire and a 75-pound metal fan around his neck and dumped his body in the Tallahatchie River. A white jury quickly acquitted the men, with one juror saying it had taken so long only because they took a break to have some pop. My Nephew Emmett is about the night he was taken away and his uncle’s attempt to protect him.
THE ELEVEN O'CLOCK
Director: Derin Seale
[Fourth moose, next to sunglasses]
The Eleven O’Clock offers a comedic reprise in the collection of short live action films. The film is about a delusional patient who believes he is actually the psychiatrist. A series of timing and personnel mishaps set the stage for and Abbot-and-Costello-like interaction as the doctor and patient attempt to treat each other and the session gets out of control.
THE SILENT CHILD
Director: Chris Overton
[Moose with sunglasses]
The Silent Child centers around a profoundly deaf four year old girl named Libby who is born into a middle class family and lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication. All seems to be going well until it doesn’t. The film reflects the biases faced by deaf people simply for being different and to the urgent need for change to give them equitable access to the world.
ATU WOTE/ALL OF US
Director: Katja Benrath
GERMANY & KENYAN/23MINS/2017
[Moose with Sunglasses]
Watu Wote (All of Us) is a beautiful film showing the tragic devolution of religion as a set of guiding principles. As the conflicts between ideologies clash and intolerance grows, the outcome is a highly volatile and dangerous world. When blind faith rules, no one is safe.
For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab thus fueling an atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians. The film is based on true events that happened in December 2015, when a bus was attacked and the Muslim attackers sought Christians on the bus, but the Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.
2018 Oscar-Nominated Short Films ~LIVE ACTION
R Live Action – R (violence and some language)
Monday, February 26 at 5:30 PM