Written and Directed by: #TomerShushan
Short film review by: Brian Penn
Two men arguing over a bike chained to a lamp post on a back street in Israel doesn’t sound like the most riveting narrative. However, White Eye eventually gets there with a surprising amount of depth. It begins with one man’s assertion that said bike is in fact his own property that had been previously stolen. He reports the find to police who aren’t convinced, and want him to find the person in possession before they take action. He dillies and dallies before the ‘culprit’ emerges from a nearby factory. Suspicion falls on an Eritrean who claims he bought the bike legally from an unnamed individual. A man who simply wants his property returned has inadvertently opened a massive can of worms. But who’s the real victim here; more importantly who’s telling the truth?
The plot slowly peels away layers from an onion as a more satisfying narrative creeps into view. The semblance of a normal existence begins to hinge on ownership of an unassuming item. It becomes a means of transport; to reach a place of work or take a child to school. A badge of normality that might suddenly be taken away turns the bike into a valuable commodity. The film eventually delivers a simple message and shows how a train of events can unfold if we push hard enough. The unseen consequences of our actions tell us to be careful of the things we wish for.
However, the plot’s stuttering construction really slows the piece down. The first ten minutes were wasted as the dialogue was caught in a loop. A scenario built around ‘that’s my bike-you prove it’ does wear thin after a while. It’s acceptable as an opening premise but needs to move forward more quickly than it does. Once it does hit the target a clear statement of the human condition becomes apparent; but could have used the screen time more economically.