Coming in at about an 18 minute running time, ACID (or ACIDE en francais) is one of the most powerful short films I’ve seen this year. No stranger to short films, this being his 5th, Just Philippot really knows how to pack a punch in a short period of time.
If you were born in the 80’s, you probably remember hearing about “Acid Rain” in science class throughout most of your elementary and middle school education. This was one of the first big buzzwords in climate change before Global Warming was a household name. Actual “Acid Rain” is rain that has a lower pH than it’s supposed to, making the water unusually acidic. This is not good, obviously, but it’s not something that can kill you on the spot.
In ACID, that’s a different story. The film starts in the middle of a traffic jam. People are exiting their cars and panicking. A large storm cloud looms overhead and then we see the damage…people start getting holes burned into their skin, this Acid Rain is like the kind of acid that Jack Nicholson’s version of The Joker fell into in Batman. We then see a baby alone in a car and the opening credits roll.
Next, we see three people on a small motorcycle. Elise (Maud Wyler; Blue is the Warmest Color), Karim (Sofian Khammes; Chouf), and Lucien (Antonin Chaussoy in his debut film), also known as La Mere (Mother), Le Pere (Father), and Le Fils (the boy, or their son). The motorcycle breaks down, so they have no choice but to start running. Karim and Elise do their best to not let Lucien know what is happening but he starts to ask, and keep asking.
The parents try to protect their son and themselves from the storm and I’ll leave the ending alone because you need to see this film. It’s one of the best worst-case scenarios I’ve seen in a while and I definitely could have watched more of it. In fact, that’s my only complaint and it’s not a real complaint necessarily. I want this to be a full-length film! It’s so well written, well shot, and well acted. I hope it wins tons of awards and I hope that someday soon Just Philippot does indeed make a full-length film. I’ll be first in line to see it!