Directed and written by #NataliePeracchio
Short Film Review by Jack Bottomley
Sometimes in presenting the most challenging of times and situations we can face, the simplest onscreen approaches can work best and give some much more honest insight. As life goes on, we can - and inevitably will - all confront some tough times, times that take a certain amount of understanding to live with and through, times that can see people we love fade before our eyes, times that can viciously take so much from us without care or remorse. In director/writer #NataliePeracchio’s (very) short film Flight, we see the early onset of such times. Flight is a story that concerns itself more with the realisation of a harsh reality, than with the day to day living under such conditions that is going to follow.
The film sees a daughter (called Barb in the synopsis) (played by #ThereseLloyd) taking the time out of the day to visit her elderly mother (#RobinLandis), after she received a concerning call from her mother’s nurse. However, what seems like it could be a cry for attention, or an act of defiance, soon points to something far bigger and more important. Grounded in real life, Peracchio’s film is one that quietly unfolds across its 4 1/2 minute duration, as the nature of the situation sets in on this daughter visiting her mum.
The challenges that come with suffering from a declining mental state (and the challenges of those who care for them) is one many bravely face on a daily basis and this film does not viscerally show such (sometimes harrowing) effects of this disorder or the trials of care as it takes over, but instead shows the difficulty of that early indication and acceptance that something is wrong. Flight shows how understanding and compassion are key but how coming to terms with this abhorrent reality can be as difficult as seeing it play out thereafter.
The dialogue in the film is naturalistic, as is the cinematography by #TedVonBevern, and this relatable edge is furthered by two great lead performances. As daughter Barb, Lloyd expresses concern but also fatigue, as she fits this visit in around her life but when the pieces begin coming together, her fight or flight reaction takes over. Facing the truth can be horrifying and this intimate human short shows this very point. Meanwhile Landis is excellent as Barb’s mum, as she is beginning to process her increasingly fragmented memories and recollections and slowly starts to slip into territory she is unaware of. This character’s heartbreakingly uncertain grip on events is visible in Landis’ face and eyes.
It’s rather moving seeing a story about such an issue as fighting the likes of dementia and failing mental health done so honestly, unflamboyantly and with a firm grasp of the realities that come with spotting the early signs or an initial diagnosis. Flight does land straight into things and could indeed have benefitted from some more layers to its story but what is here, effectively displays the unrelenting uncaring nature of fading mental health and how people can react to it.