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A Sister’s Grief - short film review


Directed by: #GurveerSingh

Written by: #GurveerSingh


At first it is hard to determine the genre of this short film. Within the first two minutes the footage can be seen to suggest that this is a drama-based film, and yet from then on, the sense of real emotion hits home when documentary -like footage emerges shows a real home with real children in a real family. This project can viewed as a video diary of filmmaker Singh’s emotional journey in the morning of a family relative.

The transition of time is well displayed by repeating similar shots of the same garden from the same window, but seasons apart shown by the climate change of snow. Now in retrospect this transition is the bulk of this film meaning that it’s hard to outline the substance to this five-minute piece. In reality it is just a string of clips captured through a period of time, not particularly show anything of significance. On the other hand, the lack of substance allows the audience time to embrace certain emotions that the filmmaker is trying to convey, giving a sense of tranquillity and calm encouraging a message of “hey let’s just take five minutes”.

The cinematography isn’t particularly bad but not too great either, creating a flat atmosphere by not adding much to the Mise en scene. Some of the imagery captured is slightly underwhelming as the seaside views are stunning as are some of the compositions, however the lack of colour and depth tends to leave no emphasis. In terms of mise en scene, it would have been nice to see more care for what we are seeing. For example, in the final outro shot we see a woman (whom I believe to be the protagonist) approach the water, to which a group of girls can be seen galivanting in the background in where we as a collective are heading. This definitely pulls away any fulfilling climax.

The sound recording is unclear as conditions such as strong winds have not been assessed and approached in a manner which allows for uncorrupted capturing. This suggest that the filmmaker thinks that by slapping a suitably emotional soundtrack over the top of some footage is sufficient. This is not the case. Even with having an excuse of this being a silent short film (which it clearly is not going by the diegetic sound and intro dialogue), the sound still needs to hold on its own and be strong enough to carry this film.

The editing is basic and a tad cheesy with generic crossfades but is forgivable giving the deep emotional atmosphere and ultimately works for the film. In Particular, I enjoyed the outro cut to black but allowing the soundtrack to play out giving the audience time to assess what they have just seen.

Overall, as an emotional video diary this piece was endearing and satisfactory. It could be improved massively by simply adding some stunning cinematography and cutting some rather awkward and poorly staged blocking by the sea. I thoroughly like the idea of capturing ones grieving journey through a lens giving the filmmakers a chance to emotional express themselves through the art of film.



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