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Behind Sterlingate

average rating is 4 out of 5


Jason Knight


Posted on:

Jan 13, 2024

Film Reviews
Behind Sterlingate
Directed by:
Martha Elsen, Damien Fowler
Written by:
Martha Elsen, Damien Fowler
Stacey Edward Harris, Richard Cawte, Louis Cavalier, Rachael Cummins, Katrina Rose Webb

A politician's future depends on an upcoming interview that is going to be broadcasted live nationwide.


The story is set during a time where there are a lot of issues in the British government. The Prime Minister is under criminal investigation and a decision has been made to stop free school meals. Angela Sterling (Harris), the Education Secretary, is in a waiting room of a television channel, where she is waiting to be interviewed regarding all this. Angela has even more on her mind, as it has just been disclosed that she cheated on her husband, for which she is going to be questioned during the interview. She desperately tries to find a way to avoid finding herself under heavy fire and keep her family together.


This short student production has quite a plot: a politician is about to go on live television and it has just become known to the public that she has committed adultery and must now decide what is the best course of action to take. Most of the narrative takes place in the waiting room, where Angela is waiting, along with her teenage son, Samuel (Cavalier), her family's childminder, Barbra (Cummins) and her publicist, Harriet (Webb). Angela and Harriet are aware that Simon (Cawte) intends to brutally question Angela over her act of infidelity and they must come up with a plan that will save her public image. The film is quite effective when it comes to creating tension, suspense and drama, with the audience wandering how Angela is going to get herself out of this mess, if she will manage that and whether she will take Harriet's ruthless advice in order to do so, which would involve saving herself while damaging her family.


The screenplay and the acting create intriguing characters whose struggles are explored. Angela is a well-meaning person who made a massive error and must now deal with the consequences. Simon comes across as an arrogant individual and as an interviewer he has a take-no-prisoners approach. Harriet is perhaps the one who stands out the most, a cold-hearted publicist who is willing to step on others in order to get her way.


Taking under consideration that this is a student project, the production value is quite good with the acting being terrific and the film gaining significantly from Joe Wright's cinematography and from Ben Thorn's dramatic and tense score.


This short is a dramatic and tense story that follows a situation that is about to explode, while simultaneously exploring politics, adultery, family values, dishonesty and how desperation can lead to bad decisions. Ultimately, it seems that the film primarily shows how desperate people can be manipulated into doing things that are against their will and it does that quite dramatically.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film
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