Movie Review: WHO I AM, UK, LGBT/Drama

A seventeen minute UK film from director Monika Wilczynska, WHO I AM follows Eli, a young transgender teenager coming to terms with their identity despite their devoutly religious and unaccepting family. Facing isolation and ostracization from her family and community, Eli makes the final choice that is right for her.

 

It may be said that this short him has an unrealistically happy ending- that not all stories end so concretely, so completely, or so triumphantly- but WHO I AM is story about visibility in a community. Eli’s journey is about her relationship with God, and the strength is takes to acknowledge that the flaws of unacceptance are not within God or spirituality- that is a flaw that lies within humanity.

 

People who see themselves in Eli’s struggle may argue that not all stories end as easily as Eli’s does in WHO I AM- but our hero’s story ends, essentially, right at the beginning of the rest of her life- a life free from the judgement of those who treat her poorly for who she is. WHO I AM is an important film to see- it gives a voice to many stories that go unheard, and for that alone- go see WHO I AM.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

WHO I AM, 17min, UK, LGBT/Drama
Directed by Monika Wilczynska

A coming of age tale about Elijah, a young transgender teenager from a very religious background, who has to try to reconcile their identity with their faith and their family’s expectations of them. With the help of anti-conformist Lisbeth and their friends, Elijah learns not to compromise their own integrity in face of prejudice and adversity. CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

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Movie Review: MASQUERADE, USA, LGBT/Drama

A ten minute historical film about the Old South and the trails of race and freedom, MASQUERADE tells the story of a young black couple, enslaved by their master. When the master makes an advance on his male worker, the young couple decide to flee for their own safety. While the master of the house throws a masquerade ball, the couple attempt to pass as an elderly rheumatic man and his black attendant. When the wife, Ninny asks if they should run away, her husband answers “Master wants to run away to the city, so I reckon it’s normal for folks to want to run away.”

 

MASQUERADE is a film about “running away” and “passing”- whether passing as white or passing as heretosexual, running to the city, or running to the north, all the characters are looking for something similar- freedom. This is a film about the trapping of society and how they push us all to extremes, it is a film the ripples with tension from the first frame to the final credits. Wonderfully cast and performed, and stunning in its design and cinematography- creating a full period piece is not an easy task in a short film. MASQUERADE is dedicated to all the people who “Passed” as a way to reach freedom- and to all those who could not. It is a powerful piece worth seeing.

 

Review by Kierston Drier

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

MASQUERADE, 10min., USA, LGBT/Drama
Directed by Andrew Hawkins

1848 Virginia. Slave couple Sam and Ninny execute an escape after their slave master George makes an unconscionable advance. ‘Masquerade, A Story of the Old South’ is an uncommon slave narrative, capturing the experience of both African Americans and gay people during this complicated time. CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Film Review: SUNLIGHT OVER WATER, Canada, LGBT/Drama

 

With bold cinematic choices and a strong narrative voice, SUNLIGHT OVER WATER tells the story of the tumultuous friendships between high schoolers Merit and Julien. Their friendship already heavily laced with sexual tension, Julien makes a sexual overture to Merit, who accepts, but is then confused when Julien is distant, cold and even aggressive afterwards.

 

Painfully relatable and authentic, this piece captures the fragile rollercoaster that is adolescence, offset by the compounded pain of loving in vain.  A fascinating dive into the world of young, confusing love, where tempers burn and passion paves the way for dramatic self discovery, SUNLIGHT OVER WATER offers no easy answers to the problems growing up creates. Perhaps that is what makes this film so appealing- it takes you into Merit’s world, while leaving Juliens’ unknowable- the way Julien appears to Merit. A compelling look into young love and the experiences that shape us into the people we become, SUNLIGHT OVER WATER is a beautiful and intense short.  

by Kierston Drier

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video: 

SUNLIGHT OVER WATER, 15min., Canada, LGBT/Drama
Directed by Jesse Gotfrit

High-schooler Merit discovers his sexuality through a tumultuous relationship with his friend Julien.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!