Run Away (2020) Short Film Review

★★★★


Directed by: #IshtiyakAhmadZihad

Written by: #IshtiyakAhmadZihad

Starring: #AkibaRahmanZiniya


Short Film Review by: Emily Davison

A young Bangladeshi garments worker bares the responsibility of caring and providing for her family, but when Coronavirus hits it tragically affects more than just her job salary in this bleak short drama.


Run Away (2020) is directed by Ishtiyak Ahmad Zihad, a film and media studies student in Bangladesh, and with only a very short running time of three minutes, the film still manages to pack a punch with a weighty, relevant subject as its core focus. The movie has been screened and chosen for Official Selections in many film festivals in India, most of which are in response to the pandemic, with the Lockdown Short Film Contest 2020 and NDUB Lockdown Fest 2020 just naming a couple.

Run Away (2020) Short Film Poster

The film has a great sense of pacing to its short length, immediately introducing the setting through some well framed establishing shots of the village the unnamed protagonist lives and works in. The movie presents excellent cinematography throughout, with Zihad choosing to implement a black and white aesthetic, which enhances the realism and grounded style of the narrative and context. There is a harrowing and devastatingly authentic quality to the film as Zihad reflects on the impact the pandemic has had on ordinary Bangladeshi people. We are invited to share in the three day experience of an isolated young girl as we lead up to the coronavirus impacting on her job and no longer being able to provide for her father, mother and little sister.


The despair and helplessness of the lead is sincerely captured by Akiba Rahman Ziniya, who must endure endless calls from her family waiting for her to come home with a salary she will never receive to support them. The young woman’s hope eventually dissolves when she loses her job and this decline in morale is framed elegantly by Zihad, as well as performed passionately by Ziniya. The film is beautifully tragic and honest in its presentation and is impressive in vision due to being filmed during the beginning of the pandemic. As the opening quote reads: “in today’s world, money is like oxygen” and the message is thoughtfully contemplated on by the filmmakers, especially in regard to the heavy emotional ending.


Run Away is a dramatic, compelling short with a reflective contemporary subject matter on the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on Bangladeshi workers and bolstering refined cinematography as well as a humane performance from its lead, this film certainly makes for an absorbing watch.

#EmilyDavison


Run Away (2020) Short Film Trailer: