Updated: Oct 9, 2019
Directed by: #BernardKordieh
Written by: Bernard Kordieh, #SheilaNortley
Should humans cohabit? That seems to be the premise, or at least an underlying theme, for many storytellers and #filmmakers and it is largely due to the mountain of drama they can mine for their stories. As a species we seem to be incapable of existing with one another without some form of power struggle emerging in which case someone always loses. So where does it all go wrong in relationships? Well, short film Sometimes I Feel goes a way to exploring the timeline.
Co-written by Bernard Kordieh and Sheila Nortley (the former of whom directs here also - see our review of another of his short films Melody), the story plays out with a non-linear approach, examining the relationship of a talented artist called Shereen (a phenomenal Zaraah Abrahams) and her lover Michael (an equally brilliant Johnny Ray Gill). At first charming and sweet, Michael's successful lawyer veneer is punctured by a variety of sequences which show him to be an obnoxious brute, whilst we glimpse the reality settle in on an anxious and at times terrified Shereen.
It is a compelling study of the myriad ways people can present themselves and be interpreted. Much like an artistic reading of one of Shereen's painting, the audience is asked to witness and judge these characters who morph in front of our eyes depending on their situation. And therein lies the knockout punch of Sometimes I Feel, its revealing of humanity's biggest flaw, which is that we are not who we say we are, even to ourselves.
This is a cinematically beautiful short film, with contrasting light used to electrify the mood and intimate framing to let the viewer almost palpably feel the characters on screen. Kordieh's use of Motherless Child is heartbreaking as is his use of focus when Shereen and Michael site on a sofa and discuss his broken glasses.
The use of heavy themes and violence is not gratuitous, although we are left to our dastardly imaginations for one section which was fully harrowing. It was important not to undermine the authenticity of the story by shying away from the reality of this troubled relationship, which the filmmakers avoid expertly.
Johnny Ray Gill gives a masterclass in villainy with his portrayal of the overbearing Michael, whose relentless manipulation and controlling is a terrifying display of #gaslighting. Zaraah Abrahams impresses endlessly with her depiction of her character's gut-wrenching turmoil and realisation that her life is not her own whilst with Michael. The depths of her tragedy are utterly captivating.
A powerful and important film that gets two handfuls of humanity and rubs them together with candid glee. Tragic, sorrowful and somehow life affirming.
Sometimes I Feel like a bowl of ice cream to stop me pondering the point of it all...