Written and Directed by: #MikeGallant
Short film review by: Brian Penn
Life in the future is a fascinating prospect but we naturally assume that human endeavour will find utopia. But it could just as easily be the same old grind where technology simply aggravates our fears and foibles. Terra Beach is a highly literate but disturbing glimpse of what might lie ahead as we land in 2069. The prognosis is bleak as climate change, war and plague have inexorably moved the goalposts.
Mitch (Andrew Yackel) returns home on a summer break from his studies abroad. Home is a space colony and abroad is Mars as conventions are turned on their head. The space colony enjoys an infinite summer beneath palm trees but is riddled with ignorance and racism. Mitch meets a young Hispanic girl Dominica (Elizabeth Ruiz) and rescues her from unwanted male attention. This sets off a chain of events that shows how little human nature and society has changed. Dominica and Mitch are themselves saved by an unlikely hero in the vicinity.
We imagine the technology that might be around in fifty years and wonder how close the filmmaker gets to the truth. Mike Gallant largely plays safe with inventions that already exist in principle; these are captured with a fair degree of logic and probability. The special effects are well executed but thankfully discreet which give the narrative a chance to breathe without distraction. However, there is one innovation that packs a totally unexpected emotional punch in the closing scenes. It was extraordinarily moving as it delivered a simple but alarmingly effective message. Devices can only take us so far; and should never be substitute for the human touch and presence of people we love.