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Sean short film review

★★★

Directed by: #HowardSmith

Written by: #JackSilverwood

Starring: Howard-Smith

 

Sean is an independent short film, directed, shot, cut and played by Howard-Smith and written by Jack Silverwood.

A former IRA member, now living a cosy life in Northern Ireland, has taken up the name of Sean, a man he murdered back in 1995. He has agreed to meet the son of the man he killed but the meeting never takes place, what happens in its stead is a trip down to the protagonist’s consciousness in a Virginia Woolf type of prose.


The narration follows Sean’s consciousness as he roams the forest waiting for the man he has agreed to meet. He searches for the place he buried the man years ago, but he is not completely sure whether he is in the right place. He says that he has accepted to come out today, but confesses he is not sure why. Through these inconsistencies the film presents Sean as a double character – he was once a member of the IRA and fought hard for what he believed in, and now, as he says it himself ‘Sean is a shut-in. Sean likes to stay out of trouble’ and ‘even the Britts have got Sean’s balls in their pocket.’ This duality is further represented by the fact that Sean is played by actor/director Howard-Smith but his voice is narrated by Jim Dolan.


Depicted in the short is a contrasting sense of past and present, revolution and conformity that result in an aura of nostalgia. Sean walks through the woods but he goes nowhere, he does not go back as he never gets to meet the man, nor does he go forward as he is stopped. Sean is a tragic figure that represents in old age the insignificance of the actions derived from what we deeply believed in, but at the same time the weight that some of the actions still carry. By alluding that ‘the Britts have got Sean’s balls in their pocket’ he is saying that whatever he believed in is no longer the case, but for the son, Sean’s actions are still very much alive. Although the story is particular and difficult to relate, the feelings Sean elicits are certainly universal.


 

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