Directed by Spencer Gillis Starring Luke Robinson, Tishuan Scott, Hubert Point-Du Jour & Alexis Suarez Short Film Review by Sarah Smeaton
Sweep is a simple yet naturally clever short film that delves into deep, serious issues that plague our society every day. It does this not on a grand public level, but provides an intimate private analysis of a very mundane, ordinary event, making this short more relatable and humble than anything I’ve seen of late.
Director Spencer Gillis has created a piece of film here with its eyes wide open. What begins as an unassuming, quiet plot soon develops into something inherently abhorrent and is likely to leave audiences feeling awkward for some time after the final credits roll. There is no violence in this short film, you will not see a drop of blood or even a sniff of gore, but the presence of racial division could not be more blunt and apparent. Gillis explores stereotyping and racial profiling in such a quiet, unobtrusive way that the overall effect is actually much more harrowing. This is day-to-day life for so many, and to witness it first-hand in this movie is so shocking for one simple reason. It is believable because it is true.
The acting throughout Sweep is phenomenal for a production of this size, further enhancing the viewing experience and the overall believability. Luke Robinson as James, plays an average middle-aged white male paying a visit to his recycling centre where he meets Jean (Tishuan Scott) and Benoit (Hubert Point-Du Jour). It is obvious that James is not wholly trusting of Jean and Benoit, but after lending Jean his broom so he can clear his van, James quickly becomes friends with the pair. It is, however, all over too quickly when law enforcement (Officer Davis, Alexis Suarez) steps onto the scene. And, as if it’s struck midnight for Cinderella, the bubble of their friendship bursts.
The quiet oppressive nature of the drama that unfolds from here is truly effective and makes this short film one that everyone should watch. In twelve short minutes, the issues surrounding racial division are addressed in a simple and elegant fashion, shining a light on America’s society as it stands today. Sweep is not a revolutionary film, but it is an important one.