Written and Directed by Ryan Felberbaum Starring Ricardo Bazo Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
William Tecumseh Sherman famously once said ''War is hell'' and quiet rightly so, causing thousands of deaths as well as putting countries into debt, war can present a whole host of psychological issues for those involved, which is of course commonly knows as shell shock or PTSD.
This trauma inflicted on soldiers is the subject of filmmaker Ryan Felberbaum's new short piece Brave the past. We follow a young man who discovers a letter from an old friend discussing the day to day life he is facing fighting in a war, this unfortunately takes our main man on a downward spiral as he relives the terrors he felt being at war. He is in his own version of hell. He quickly becomes a victim of his post traumatic stress disorder as he slips into a psychotic episode, believing that he is fighting against unseen enemies and imaginary gunfire.
Writer and Director Felberbaum allows the audience in to this psychotic behaviour when he switches the gun from a rifle to a pistol in a split second, confusing and upsetting the lead character, we see him flirt with the idea that this may all be in his mind, but sadly he is unable to retain any sense of order among the chaos.
Visually this short film is of a good standard, lighting and surroundings give us a sense of a bleak desperation, of isolation, all of which makes for an uneasy feeling when viewing, and all of which is important considering there's little dialogue, just the friend's letter being read aloud.
Despite this Brave the Past falls a little short when it come to packing any kind of punch, being under 5 minutes long, the audience has very little time to invest in the storyline; we are not given any time to connect and develop any kind of emotional reaction to our lead's mental breakdown, the story has little space to become something more, lacking in development we don't take much away from this short. Enjoyable as it is to watch, there is nothing that makes us crave more from this story and this character, which is a shame as it has the potential to develop if given the time and direction.
Overall this is not a terrible short, visually interesting, with a storyline that could become something more with time, Brave the Past hovers in the middle between good and disposable, double the running length and Felberbaum could double his success.