Some of the short films in the fourth program of Shorts That Are Not Pants echo recent features and some don’t. Either way, they provide their twists, making up for an eclectic group showing the lives of second generations, whether they be literal children or grownups. I mean watch all the programs anyway, but this is the one you can’t miss.
Yves Piat’s Nefta Football Club is what would happen if Good Time was a literal good time. Two football crazy Tunisian boys, Mohamed (Eltayeh Dhaoui) and Abdallah (Mohamed Ali Ayari) find a donkey near the border between Tunisia and Algeria. The donkey, by the way, is a literal mule, and they hide the stash that they find. Piat shoots both day and night beautifully, also adding Nina Simone-esque instrumentals. This adds a briskness to a film about one boy trying to keep his innocent and another oblivious to the real world.
That was the best way to start a program, which brings high expectations for Christina Christie’s Tiffany. Here, a woman, Pauline, packs up her late grandmother’s stuff only to realize that one of the latter’s creations can come to life. This creation is trying to figure out its body comprising of stain glass, which might not always go well. This is still miles better than some of the shorts that the Academy shortlists.
Next up is Alyssa Asaro’s Fish Out of Water, about Henry (Christian Humphries), a non-verbal boy with cerebral palsy. But he’s not always like this – sometimes he can walk and talk. There are two possible reasons for this. The first is that those sequences ae just dreams. The second is because an alien gives him the abilities that typical boys have. Dream or real, these scenes are both colorful yet haunting, giving this short film a surrealist feel while still making it kid friendly. Those scenes also express what it’s like not to be ‘typical’.
Then there’s Amal al-Mufta’s Sh’hab. Scenes portraying the characters’ home life are slightly better, a microcosm of Qatari society as a whole. Here, we get an insight of the fishing community and how it divides its labor by gender and how a girl slowly resists. These scenes also show the clashes of both gender and generation, as a boy protects his sister (Al-Jori al-Darwish) whose only wish is to catch falling stars at night.
Lastly, Sara Blok’s Nobu can be the typical documentary that daughters make about their fathers, which is already a selling point for most people in the arts who associates art with parenthood. There’s also the regular mix of talking heads with archive footage. But there’s something candid and poppy about this documentary. Clocking at nine minutes it’s as if the audience spends an enjoyable lifetime with Nobuki Konno. He’s a Japanese immigrant to the Netherlands who becomes both the muse and fashion model. Great way to end a program.
For more information on the fourth program of Shorts That Are Not Pants go to https://shortsnotpants2019.eventive.org/schedule/shorts-program-4-5d9f3b67cb32f1002985faa1
- Release Date: 11/16/2019