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What We Share

average rating is 4 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Oct 23, 2023

Film Reviews
What We Share
Directed by:
Maya Avidov
Written by:
Joseph Andrews, Maya Avidov
Hannah Steele, James Graeme

We share a lot in common with our parents, after all, we carry on their genes and have their DNA in our bodies. Our parents shape the basis of our appearance, whether that be sharing a hair colour or eye colour, or the frame of body, or even a disfigured toe. But there’s more that we share with our parents than just appearance - we more than likely share interests, with parents passing down many of their interests to their children, as well as personality traits. If someone’s father is prone to fits of anger, there’s a good chance that his daughter may share that same trait. We can also share more nuanced things that stem from the shared experience of living in the same house, that could be anything from little rituals to the same quirks in the morning routine, and these are some of the bonds which strengthen our connection to our parents. ‘What We Share’ focuses on the shared trauma between a father and a daughter, and how although that trauma stems from the same place, it has ultimately driven them apart to a place of irreconcilable resentment.


Maya Avidov’s film depicts the tension between Deborah (Hannah Steele) and Brian (James Graeme) in an engaging manner, inviting the audience not to take a side, but rather wait for all the cards to be played before making a judgement on whether such tension and bitter hatred, largely on Deborah’s behalf, is justified. This creates an atmosphere in which you’re constantly waiting for the next turn of hands, which though at times predictable - indeed, the major plot point driving the division is blatantly obvious - nonetheless keeps you on edge waiting to see which one of them is going to twist the metaphorical knife and really dig into the other.


The script, written by Avidov and Joseph Andrews, excellently builds this tension between the two, which, aided by the eerie silence when Brian first opens the door, is a constant throughout. Brian walks into an eerily empty house, reacquainting himself with his old home having just returned from a stint in prison, and looking around all the rooms remorsefully at the lack of furniture or ornaments. He sleeps on the mattress on the floor, not ready to return to his old bed, and we feel pity for the old man because he is clearly a man who has lost the spark of joy in his life.


Brian is as surprised to see Deborah as she is to see him - and they amble around tense opening exchanges full of awkward silences until Deborah instigates the conflict between them, vocalising the divide which before had been made obvious by their silence. James Graeme and Hannah Steele both give excellent performances, inviting the viewers support for each of them, and handling the combative exchanges between them in a manner which could have easily come across as overacted. Instead, the dynamic between the pair feels natural, and the resentment Deborah has towards Brian feels natural and built in.


Although certain elements of the plot are painstakingly obvious and predictable, ‘What We Share’ is nonetheless a fine example of tension between two characters who play off each other remarkably well, and how that tension can translate to a finely crafted film.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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