Point Symmetry - Short Film Review

★★★

Directed by: #AnnaPanova

Short Film Review by Taryll Baker

Poster for Point Symmetry

A video portrait of two Boston-based middle-aged women, whose parents were experiencing the extreme opposites of World War II. The short film is based on their past stories and the evening event ‘For our fathers' they organised, that is explored by songs and drawings as instruments of living through their grief and legacy.


As WWII documentaries go, this is a fairly good look at how the experiences of war can affect a person. We see stories being told by two women, whose fathers were silent and detached from reality, no thanks to the cruel past that framed their life. History is often terrible, but we must look it in the face to push forward and correct ourselves and those around us.


Point Symmetry is a short documentary that perhaps could have been longer. Its themes of confronting the past, with the women telling their own stories, is well conceived. However, I couldn’t help but feel it was a little rushed. The structuring would be greatly improved with a longer running time, as it allows for stories to be fully fleshed out, in turn giving the viewer time to settle in and perhaps experience just a fraction of what they experienced, just through the power of words. That’s not to say it’s not affecting, Point Symmetry is still fairly gripping and it shows tremendous potential.


In terms of production, this certainly has the independent feel. Suitable music is cut (though a little roughly) into the scenes and the narration carries the viewer through each of them. The stories told are touching and, given the subject of the Holocaust and WWII in general, quite terrible. Anna Panova’s eye for this style of documentary is evidently skilful, though like I mentioned before, this could be even more impactful with a slight rebuild. The film jumps right in with a story, and it’s as if we’ve been talking with this individual for a while before the camera rolled. So it’s a little jarring, and I feel with these themes and the subject matter, a long feature is as crucial as it is beneficial.


Point Symmetry has solid editing, great storytellers, and features some wonderful artwork inspired by the events of our past. As it stands, it’s a good framework for a potential feature length. Anna Panova’s direction is fantastic and I hope to see more of her work going forward.


#TaryllBaker