Dirty Laundry Short Film Review

★★★

Directed by: #MaximBessmertny

Starring: #KelseyWilhelm, #RicardoBrito and #MeiIengLeong

Film review by: Brian Penn

The publicity material for Dirty Laundry pitches the story as a take on the myth of Sisyphus. Yes, the king of Ephyra whose deceit and arrogance was punished by the onerous task of rolling a boulder up a hill, only for it to come crashing down when it neared the top. This analogy isn’t entirely convincing and feels more like the classic ‘two men walked into a bar scenario’. Convention demands that three elements follow the intro with the final piece hopefully delivering a punchline. Either way, it produces a likeable if lightweight tale of a washing machine known affectionately as R3D2.


Ethan (Kelsey Wilhelm), a musician and Richard (Ricardo Brito) a film student share a flat in Macau with the said washing machine. For reasons that are never entirely clear, they need to get rid of their beloved R3D2. The pair embark on a quest to make themselves understood in a foreign climate. In the course of their journey the two westerners exchange anecdotes about their dreams and aspirations. Presently, they come across the mysterious lady in green (Mei Ieng Leong) who seems to have something on them. She jumps into her mini car and doggedly follows them. But will we ever find out what (if anything) was in the washing machine; and why exactly they had to get shot of it?


Generally it works reasonably well on the basis of foreigners abroad struggling with the language, food and culture. But they tend to leave a lot unsaid and too many blanks for the viewer to fill. Nevertheless, Dirty Laundry is a well-constructed piece that uses a great location to add aesthetic detail to the humid atmosphere of Macau. And a really useful pointer when you need to move a washing machine at short notice.