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Disjointed - Short Film Review

Updated: Feb 4, 2021


Directed by: #ClaraHelbig

Starring: #PatrykKról and #DougMaw

Still from Disjointed

Disjointed centres around the experience of two men working in the food industrial complex. The film deals with a patriarchal paradigm in crisis and offers a performative space to relive and heal from trauma, where work movements become a way of embodying that which remains inaccessible through words and descriptions.

The food industry is a huge world in itself. Disjointed takes us beyond the stocked shelves of our supermarkets and gives us a look-in at just a fragment of what happens behind closed doors. Two men, Patryk Król and Doug Maw tell their personal stories of working within this industry, and how grisly and mentally damaging it is. Hearing their tales, with good description and the help of CCTV footage, makes you question how change could be implemented not only to help the workers being crushed by the method, but the animals too.

This short runs at 10 minutes and just barely scrapes the surface of a process that I’m certain is much worse than it already seems. Filmmaker Clara Helbig’s low-budget documentary tackles a hefty topic, brings up the subject of evolution (within the two men) and becoming vegan. I’m a meat-eater, but I do not condone the cruelty brought forth to animals. The whole process doesn’t have to be so grim and inhumane, and I’m sure there are others like me who’d agree. The food industry is a big mess but it could be cleaned up, it’s more a question of; do people want to fix it?

Disjointed displays some horrible scenes of animal cruelty, enough to make you look away. It certainly did for me. The way the two men describe their lives and how they were personally affected by working in that industry is in some ways interesting. The choice to have them physically act out their routine was odd at first, but somehow made sense. With their stories being cut over this imagery, it added a unique flair I’ve not really seen before in documentaries, at least not on this smaller scale.

Helbig’s film sparks up a fiery conversation that should be had. The execution is good, with enough inside information and description from real workers to provoke thoughts in the viewer.

Disjointed screens as part of the BFI Future Film Festival from 18-21 February, free on BFI Player:



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