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Shattered - Short Film Review


Directed by: #TeresaMoorhead


Set in the Netherlands during the second World War, Ilse is Jewish. She lives in fear of what the Nazi occupation will mean for her and her brother. A concentration camp survivor, she returns to her home to find out who betrayed her.

I’ve seen many films/documentaries covering the Holocaust. The thing about it is, it was such a horrifying, evil period of time, that there’s so much to cover. The material is vile, but often history is. Shattered takes a look at four life-changing years for the lead character, Ilse (performed wonderfully by Ebony Hiley), and within its 11 minute runtime manages to achieve a lot. The black and white imagery immediately dates the film, but it’s the costumes, hair and performances that manage to sell the period fairly well.

The film covers a pretty hefty amount of time, and due to the short film boundaries, it can be a little jarring. But thankfully each scene is skilfully constructed and the revenge story grips you pretty fast. One scene in particular was incredible; The train to Auschwitz. When they arrive, joyful guards begin to open fire and the sound work is perfect. It really puts you in that carriage with the people, and the horrors are present. The final scene is satisfying but could be refined to give off a slightly stronger punch, that said, it still works.

Ebony Hiley carries the short well with attention to the small details, and again, her performance in that train carriage scene was great. Graham Atkin, Sofie Coulson, and Samantha Hindman add great support to her story and bar a few shaky lines, all are superb. The music score by Zeitgeist Zero is fittingly ambient and dreary. Moody piano melodies and gloomy strings add a spooky and eerie, even scary atmosphere to the film.

The cinematography with the aforementioned black and white colouring really make Shattered, much like it did for Spielberg’s Schindler’s List way back in 1993. The camerawork is very intimate, keeping things handheld and up close and personal. Highlighting the carriage scene once more, as it really showcases all of the elements at work.

Shattered would be an ideal short film to flesh out into a full feature. It certainly has the potential to be a great full story, with even more attention to dialogue and building that tension from the betrayal. Director Teresa Moorhead has shown her talents with this, so I hope to see more from her in the future.



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