6 Nov 2021
Konstantin Pivovar, Lilia Le Dieu
Patrick Merveille, Michael Ossedryver
A man meets a stranger who lectures him about what they believe are the real reasons why people do good deeds.
A man (Ossedryver) receives an unexpected knock on the front door to his apartment. Answering, he sees another man (Merveille) who he has never encountered before. The stranger informs him that he lives in the building across the road and asks him for bread as he is struggling to care for his two children. Their conversation turns into a sort of argument about why people help each other. The stranger suggests that everyone does so primarily to make themselves feel better, while the other guy contradicts that point of view. Eventually, they come to an agreement and the stranger receives the bread. Some time later, the man finds a note inside the building that he lives in, which contains a message that states that none of the tenants offered him any assistance. Outraged by the note, the man decides to confront the stranger about it.
This short was filmed in Los Angeles over the course of two days and it is a rather interesting drama that focuses on a person who has an unusual perspective towards life and how that influences another individual. The narrative consists mostly on two lengthy conversations between the two protagonists, the first take place when the stranger asks for bread and the second takes place when the annoyed man demands explanations regarding the note. The second encounter is more intense, however both concentrate on the same subject: do people help because they truly care, or do they do so because their main goal is to help themselves? As the stranger attempts to convince the man that ultimately people are selfish, the man becomes more and more upset and confused.
Both leads deliver great and dramatic performances. Merveille's character is an intelligent man, who is constantly calm and polite and stands his ground when it comes to defending his beliefs and is determined to get his message across. Ossedryver is an everyday man who is heavily annoyed by the stranger's unconventional views on the world and does not agree with them.
The whole film is in black-and-white and the cinematography by Konstantin Frolov provides a downbeat feeling. There is almost no music throughout and when it is present, it is dramatic and goes well with the situation.
This short film offers an unconventional insight into the reasons why people choose to help each other. The dialogue is interesting and the tension rises as the two men try to reach a conclusion to their argument. The story explores themes of generosity, selfishness and altruism and will most likely grab the viewer's attention.