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Joychild - Short film review


Directed by: #AuroraBrachman

Written by: #AuroraBrachman

Starring: #Lou, #Tenysa, #Hannah & #Logan


This powerfully intimate documentary brings the style of old fashion cinema and the modern wave of social justice into a cataclysmic product showcasing the suppressed emotions of a minority. Using the simplistic technique of interview audio over montage footage, ‘Joychild’ translates the emotional struggles of a child on their journey in discovering their true identity. The child interviewee explores their past and reflect on their experiences when coming to terms with self-identification in coming out to their mother.

Brachman’s genius combination of bringing a plain means of filmmaking to an emotionally and socially complex situation offers a unique viewing experience to the audience. Although this is done through the sole interview of one child’s journey, the filmmakers can clearly be noted as using this one voice as a projection of the many. The flow of narrative is laidback and calm which allows the audience to soak in the glorious cinematography and ponder over the sentimental struggle of the spoken word. Standing at nearly six minutes, the length of this short fits its style and narrative perfectly by not dwelling on the subject matter and imagery for too long which could quickly become repetitive.

Within the first two acts, the narration doesn’t directly state what the documentary is specifically commenting on, which to some viewers could be confusing. However, it isn’t necessary as the emotions, tone and dialogue heavily insinuates the importance of the subject which seems to be the clear and central theme of this piece.

The cinematography is strong as the composition is precise and stylised. The choice of shooting B&W is the correct path and works in the films favour. This is because the grey scale of brightly lit sunny shots exquisitely contrasts the grey tones which perfectly matches the tone of the subject matter, E.g., the use of B&W matches the emotional struggle while the joyful lighting matches the realisation and release of acceptance.

Although the protagonists dialogue can be at times difficult to understand, the sound recording is clear and well mixed throughout, adding a calm atmosphere which compliments without interrupting the dialogue. The soundtrack spikes an interesting tone by helping shift the developing narrative to its next act, driving that emotion.

This edit provokes the calm demeaner by keeping the pace of cutting on-going and holding the audience’s captivation. This is a perfect example of how not to bore an audience while exhibiting a slow and relaxed film, further adding to its progression.

All in all, ‘Joychild’ is a marvellous and honest insight to the struggles of children through their challenging times of finding acceptance for who they are. Although, this piece can be misconceived as bland through its slow pace and B&W format, this would be a massive oversight. what this film truly offers is style, emotion and a perfectly executed production.



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