Lostfound short film review

★★★★

Directed by: #ShaktiBhagchandani

Written by: #ShaktiBhagchandani, #EmreGulcan

Starring: #OliviaWashington, #YannaButtons

Film Review by: #DarrenTilby



In Lostfound, Shakti Bhagchandani explores what the #Islamic faith means to a young black mother living in modern-day America. And while I felt the film’s primary message wasn’t clearly articulated, the film more than makes up for this shortcoming in other ways.


The film begins, in glorious #blackandwhite, with our lead (Olivia Washington) and her fellow sisters reading morning prayer. #Fajr, I believe? We get our first allusion to a possible crisis of #faith at the reading’s end, when our lead drops her smile and looks less than enthusiastic about her prayer recital. The remainder of the film takes us through the day-to-day routine of the young #Muslim woman, as she tells her daughter fairy stories—which may or may not be a metaphor for the #Islamic faith's view on women’s rights, or, a commentary on western imperialism. I may also be looking into it too much, who knows—teach her about their #Islamic #faith, and cooks and cleans for her family.


The first thing that’s likely to strike you is just how familiar this all looks. The mundanity of her daily routine is likely to strike a chord with most stay-at-home parents and serves as a compelling way of breaking down #cultural and #religious barriers, whether that was the intention or not. The cast throughout the film is nothing short of excellent, but I particularly liked the beaten-down, indifferent mood displayed by Olivia Washington in the lead role, which just worked so well here.


It’s a feeling which not only affects her home life but which I believe spills over into her #religion too. There are several small hints throughout the film which suggest Washington’s character isn’t entirely happy with this aspect of her life, including a strong hint towards a possible #lesbian relationship developing with a friend. I’m not going to discuss any of the other clues as, honestly, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the film. I’ve watched and scrutinised it at least four times now, and I’m still spotting new things here and there.


And I have to say, watching this film has never seemed like a chore. It’s a pleasure through and through. Not only because of the terrific acting or its superb naturalistic script; but because of its utterly gorgeous visuals. Every frame of this movie is a thing of beauty, and nothing ever seems out-of-place or hard on the eyes, editing included. I may be slightly biased though, I’m a sucker for #blackandwhite #cinematography. But filming in #blackandwhite is not an easy thing to do. At least, not if you want to do it properly. But it was absolutely the right choice for Lostfound, and #cinematographer #JoeDuva should be praised for his exemplary work on this movie.


Lostfound’s apparent lack of a singular fundamental message may seem disconcerting at first, but this is an incredibly beautiful and rich film that benefits from repeated viewings. And at only 12-minutes in length, you have absolutely no reason not to. So do yourself a favour, view it as many times as you can (I’ve seen it three more times since starting this review!), take your time with it, and consider everything that’s happening on screen. Because the chances are, it’s important. #Tender, #poignant and thought-provoking, I loved it.