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Just Scream Short Film Review

★★★★★ Stars


How would you feel if no one listened to you even when their job is to do exactly that? “Just Scream” is a short film that brings attention to a young adult, Emma Clark (Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah,) who takes a step forward to speak in an interview about her past experience of assault. The film represents how a large portion of the population react to recounts told by victims of abuse, and that reaction is harrowing. Writer and director Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah was inspired to begin this project after realising that not everyone has a true understanding of the struggle and pain abuse will cause. “Why didn’t you just scream louder?” recalls Dawson-Amoah in a video, explaining her influence for the film, as she describes the response to an incident of what could have been an assault on her friend if help did not arrive when it did. It is clear that she had great motivates in showing the deep effects that an individual will suffer with during and after the horrific events take place.

The film consists of one setting; a cosy, plainly decorated and brightly lit interview room. The setting is intimate and immediately makes the audience feel that whatever they are about to witness is going to be very personal. Expanding upon this, one frame is kept throughout the duration of the film which focuses primarily upon Emma Clark. The intimate nature is solidified as Clark arrives on the interview set and takes a seat opposite the interviewer, Carl Peterson (Timothy J. Cox.) 

Clark appears visibly nervous as Peterson finally announces her purpose for being seated in front of him, the bright lights and the recording cameras. Small gestures, such as playing with her hands and shifting eye contact, add mass amounts of characterisation to Clark and is only the beginning of Dawson-Amoah showcasing her acting talents. She is capable of expressing extreme, passionate emotions with truth and force which can be seen in the climax of the film. 

As well as Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah having an opportunity to use incredible acting abilities, her writing is impeccable. Peterson begins to ask Clark questions about her experience and gives her a chance to have a voice. However, he is quick to correct her words for professionalism and push her to ensure that she ‘looks at him and not the camera.’ With one setting throughout, the script is heavily relied on and it does not fail. At a point in the interview when Clark begins to unravel the details of the event and relive the shocking memory, Peterson calls for tissues to be handed out but also makes a clear reminder for her to look at him once again and corre

ct her speech. It is painful to listen to such lack of sympathy, which only perfectly builds the intended strength of the film.

The entirety of the film handles an intense and emotional environment which is carried by the script and acting, but also by lighting and choices regarding the frame of the scenes. When Clark speaks of particularly sensitive details, lights begin to dim and the camera zooms in to focus even more upon the character. This is an important element that adds to the consuming sensitivity of the topic being dealt with. The director of photography, Mike Klubeck, was a key opponent in the making of this film.

Just Scream” is an important representation of how much victims of abuse struggle to be heard and understood. Every component of this film is almost irreproachable and delivers a powerful message through the use of visual details and eloquent language. I applaud everyone involved in its making and hope to see more from Ewurakua Dawson-Amoah as well.



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