All the short films my wife and I saw at the Spectrum in February 2018 were quite good. Dekalb Elementary (USA – 20 minutes) involved a 2013 school shooting incident in Atlanta, GA. It was really intense, but the lead female’s role was remarkable.

The Silent Child (UK – 20 minutes) is about a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl, whose busy middle class family care for her. But she lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her how to communicate. The arc of this story was very touching, and a bit heartbreaking.

My Nephew Emmett (USA – 19 minutes) is set in 1955 and based on the true story of a Mississippi preacher who tries to protect his 14-year-old nephew. I knew almost immediately, though my wife did not, what this story was all about, which I suppose lessened the impact only slightly.

In The Eleven O’Clock (Australia – 13 minutes), the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes he is actually the psychiatrist, and they end up analyzing each other. As the only comedy, and a cleverly funny one at that, it broke up the tension in the theater somewhat.

Watu Wote – All of Us (Germany/Kenya – 23 minutes). “For almost a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.”

The first, third, and fifth movies all were based on true stories and suggested the possibility of violence. DeKalb was probably my favorite among these, but I suspect Wote Watu will win the Oscar because it’s so timely.

As a teacher of English as a New Language, my wife really related to The Silent Child, knowing children often need advocates when they are “different.”

The one thing I hated in the presentation is that, during the closing credits, they had videos of the filmmakers hearing that they’ve been nominated for Academy Awards. It really ruined the mood, especially the stirring end music of Wote Watu. Now if they’d run the clips AFTER each the credits, it would have been better, serving as a brief respite before another heavy topic.

Nevertheless, a very good crop of films.

3 Responses to “Oscar-nominated short films: Live action”

  • Vicki says:

    I haven’t heard of any of these. They do sound good.

  • bodoi says:

    “We keep them seeing their psychiatrist or therapist to get them their medications so that they don”t end up doing something erratic, if you have something like bi-polar or schizophrenia.

  • mayubossa says:

    @snowboard. Dr.StrangeLove: “We”d Lose 10M, tops.Only it ain’t gonna be Like that. This is 2018 not 1968. Not just a gentlemanly exchange of nuclear ping pong then declare victory and quit. Real war coming to Walmart near you. No use commanding NATZO from underground in your bunkers; even, if your bunker is far away from the USA – say in that nice estate you bought in Patagonia – after devastating your cities they will be hunting you down personally. WW3 will be where the USA, for the first time in its bloodsoaked but relatively unscathed expansion, will find out what real war is like. Its Leaders may end up like Hitler committing suicide in their bunkers, or like Mussolini shot by their own people, or if lucky they might be hung after a comfortable Nurenberg trial; but there is no way the self-styled Leaders of the Free World can escape defeat in WW3 – because they are mad. Like the mad Emperor Caligula, “Let them hate me so long as they fear me, they have not reckoned: what Lasthappens when people stop fearing us? Syria and Crimea is where the world stopped fearing the Anglo Empire; their best course now is to calm down and consult a psychiatrist about their delusions of grandeur.

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