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B for Blake

average rating is 5 out of 5


Rob Jones


Posted on:

Apr 14, 2023

Film Reviews
B for Blake
Directed by:
Ryan Jamison
Written by:
Ryan Jamison
Drew Sicard, Ingrid Libera, P. Lynn Johnson, Charles Du Hamel

This is a sweet-centred, heartfelt tribute to a lost friend that chronicles how he was able to make a difference to those who knew him, and the community he was from, by leaving something special behind. It almost feels intrusive to watch something that’s so clearly personal to the people who’ve made it, but that’s counterbalanced by the idea that this is now part of Blake’s legacy. In hearing from his parents, friends, and classmates, we learn just how special a person he was, and we get to share the feeling of what it was to know him.


The filmmakers are so candid as to show intimate details of how Blake passed, including parts of a suicide note in a scene that makes it difficult not to shed a tear. What’s beautiful, though, is that after his death they were able to find a collection of poetry that they hadn’t known about previously. It’s intensely relatable and profoundly sad that he had done so much without being able to share any of it, but that’s something that his friends remedy with the permission of his parents.


By producing copies of his work and circulating it around their school, they’re able to make a real difference. Mental health services become more accessible and people are able to open up in a way that might have helped Blake himself had it happened a bit earlier. It’s as heartbreaking as it is heartwarming, and if you haven’t watched B for Blake yet then I would compel you to go and do so now before reading any further.


Because what happens next is a stroke of mastery that M. Night Shyamalan would be proud of.


What quite easily came across as totally real and authentic was a mockumentary of sorts all along. It’s a massive credit to the actors and the screenplay that this isn’t telegraphed in any way whatsoever, and that even after the big reveal it’s unclear as to whether any of it actually happened or not. It can only be compared to professional wrestling before the age of the internet and the smart fans, where no one was really sure what was real and what was fake, and what existed in the space in between the two.


This is really something quite special that only gets more impressive once how little it was made with is taken into consideration. Everyone involved puts in a fantastic shift to create the illusion that this is something real and authentic when it’s actually all make-believe. There probably isn’t a better way to spend eighteen minutes.

About the Film Critic
Rob Jones
Rob Jones
Short Film
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