(Reviewed as part of the Short Film Competition at Sundance 2005)
In Time is a short film about a modern day African family living in the U.S. It’s based around a mother and her two daughters. One of the daughters is engaged to be married to a young man from their native country. The mother, the other elders, and the groom to be, speak with heavy accents and are still very much in tune with old customs and traditions of the homeland, while the two sisters who seem to have been raised in America, have drifted from these ways.
The movie begins with a series of traditional courtships to the brides family from the groom and his male companions. These rituals add an element of comedy to the first ten minutes of the movie. The couple seem perfect for each other until the bride bride refuses to get married due to mysterious reason the she will not reveal. Her secret is revealed towards the end. Once we learn what it is, the short film is transformed from a comedic romance story to one that leaves the viewer dwelling on much broader political and social issues.
I enjoyed this film’s subject matter more than I actually enjoyed the story. What do I mean by this? Well it was refreshing to see a film about African Americans or Africans rather, that touched on issues other than white on black racism, apartheid, life in the hood, or booty-chasing. Unfortunately these are the four subject matters that we seemed to have been reduced to in Hollywood. Not that I didn’t enjoy Boys In The Hood, Booty Call or Rosewood. All these films have a place and tell a story that should be told. I just don’t like feeling reduced to these subject matter only. When I seen any film at this point that has black faces in it and is just a human interest story, I eager to support it.
Although this movie also deals with oppressive issues, it educates us on oppressions that we as americans don’t have to deal with on a daily basis. Without giving to much away, I will say that this film did leave me thinking about the unique plights that different people go through. We As American tend only focus on the atrocities of slavery and segregation. We often hear of the Holocaust during Nazi Germany, because it to is heavily popularized in the media. Recently the american public is bombarded with pictures of human suffering in the middle east, because it is currently in our national interest to show these images. I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t often be reminded of these horrific historical evens, I just feel that the plights of a lot of minorities in this country such as asians, eastern europeans, and africans have been largely ignored because they don’t have the numbers in population to make enough noise or political clout to bring media attention to their plights. As the old saying goes the squeaky wheel always gets the oil.
If I have to point out some problems in this film, I would say that the characters were a little confusing. In the first six to eight minutes, I found myself trying to decipher "who’s who". Also, the accents were very heavy, so I had to rewind a few scenes just to understand what was being said. Dialects of English can be so different that sometime I feel captions should still be used.
In Time was a pleasant short film. It was a well spent twenty minutes. Check it out!
© 2005 FilmFetish.com. Review by Alvin Pettit
When he’s not writing reviews for Film Fetish, Alvin is an accomplished painter, sculptor and illustrator. Check out some of his work at alvinpettit.com