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Department of Detachment - Short Film Review


Written & Directed by: #ElinaSahlin

Poster for Department of Detachment

A lovesick woman is forcibly taken to the world's first state-funded rehab for people unable to metabolize loss.

Writer and director Elina Sahlin takes us into the world of heartbreak and secludedness resulting from loss of loved ones, leading to unhealthy grieving. Department of Detachment shows a rehabilitation home specifically designed to help those in need of direction and purpose following the fractured pasts of its residents. In a swift opening and introduction to the film, Sahlin’s striking style reflects a fragment of Lanthimos’ — with the camera movement and positioning, contrasting with a more classical-oriented music score. An interestingly strange atmosphere flows between the seams of this 6-minute short; an inviting and immensely enjoyable cinematic presentation.

Department of Detachment spends all of its duration with the reluctant, lovesick woman who is dragged into the grounds of the rehab. She notices a strange site upon arrival, and after conversing with the head nurse of the home, eventually comes around on the idea of accepting some aid and assistance with letting go of her now unwanted and unneeded baggage. It’s incredibly hard to comment on this sharp film without mentioning the great detail in the stunning cinematography by Emil Klang; feeling like a great knowledge of shot choices and scene blocking is present. The beautiful location used is brought to life with vibrant colours thanks to Rickard Ahlbäck, and the aforementioned score from Mikael Lindblad Ehnborg and Daniel Kylén brings it all together come the credits.

The story itself is very straight forward, in fact, the synopsis covers exactly what is contained within those short few minutes. But, the way in which it’s crafted along with these fantastic technical elements that were tackled with seeming ease, makes for a very fulfilling watch. It shows that a dream team of creatives and talent was formed for Department of Detachment, and it would be a win for all if this same team was assembled again in the future for more short-form storytelling, or a feature-length outing. The cast especially delivers believable yet playfully soft performances, leading to an already witty but somewhat serious display of dialogue.

Department of Detachment leaves us on a fun note, and leads into an additional scene during the credits. It’s a little awkward as a short film, but the concept is solid. Also; power to women!

Watch the trailer for Department of Detachment below.



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