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Princess short film review


Directed by: Edem Kelman

Written by: Edem Kelman

Starring: Robinah Kironde, Keren Osei

Poster for Princess showing protagonists in playground.
Movie Poster for Princess

A mother (Kironde) and her young daughter Keren (Osei) are spending the day together, enjoying themselves.

The film begins with the two of them walking through busy streets. They visit a food shop, have fun at a playground and try on clothes at a fancy dress shop. In the evening they end up at a restaurant, where the mother leaves her daughter at the table. Keren is then approached by another woman, who appears to be a social worker, and she leaves the restaurant with her.

The film spends a great deal of time exploring the relationship between the mother and daughter, containing many moments of happiness and tenderness. They laugh together and have plenty of fun and it is clear that the mother cares deeply for her daughter. However, the mother appears to be having troubles and resorts to stealing in order to make her daughter happy. The ending sheds some light regarding their situations.

Kironde delivers an emotional performance as a loving parent. She loves her daughter deeply and wants her to be happy and wants to be with her. Osei is convincing as a happy, innocent child.

In a way, there is also a third protagonist. That would be the blue balloon that Keren and her mum have with them throughout the film, on a string and floating in the air. That balloon is seen at the beginning of the film, before the two leads are introduced and it is half-full, being kicked around by pedestrians on the pavement. In the final scene, Keren lets the balloon go and it floats higher and higher into the sky. Therefore, the beginning shows how it ended up: not floating and not giving joy to anyone anymore. The presence of the balloon could symbolize Keren's happiness. While she is with her mother, the balloon is filled with air and looks lovely. After she is separated from her, she looses the balloon and it ends up an unwanted, unappealing thing. This could signify the deterioration of the mother-and-daughter bond.

One of the film's strongest features is the music. The score is dramatic, gentle and sentimental and it highlights the sweet, loving connection and Keren and her mother have.

Princess is an emotional story about a woman's struggles and explores themes of love and parenthood. Well acted and directed, with a touching score, this achievement is worthy of a great deal of praise.

Princess screens as part of the BFI Future Film Festival from 18-21 February, free on BFI Player:


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