Review by Kierston Drier
Based on true historical events that played out during the cold war in Canada, FRUIT MACHINE, directed by Omer Khan and written by Tavish Gudgeon, is a strong and compelling piece about social mores, and the epic divide between our love for our country, and our love for each other. Against the backdrop of war and the social stigma of homosexaulity, our hero, Marleau is forced to submit to a bizarre and brutal test called “The Fruit Machine” but it forces him to recount the warm, and also painful memories of his relationship with Sam- who enlisted before him.
And although Marleau doesn’t want him to go, Sam is committed to serve his country. But when Sam returns to find Marleau in the arms of a woman their relationship and communication comes to an abrupt stop. Marleau is tormented by the one-who-got-away, and whatever happened to him.
For a film so short, it captures with strikingly articulate pain the sense of tragedy and pride in the hearts of young men going to war. But underneath that age-old story is something even more emotionally compelling- the love between two people who must hide their feelings for each other and when they are ripped apart, they are not even given the courtesy to mourn the loss of that love- as it is forbidden. Beautifully shot, exceptionally well casted and compellingly written and performed, THE FRUIT MACHINE is an engaging and dramatic performance. A brilliant retelling of a disturbing part of Canadian history, but story worth hearing at all costs.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:
|THE FRUIT MACHINE, 16min., Canada, LGBT/Drama
Directed by Omer KhanDuring the 1950’s and 60’s, at the height of the Cold War, the Canadian government was doing everything it could to gain an advantage. Major shifts were happening within the RCMP, military, and civil services. A device was introduced to test the stress levels of workers by measuring pupillary response to certain images. This device was called: The Fruit Machine.
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