The jury is still out on my thoughts on short films. On one hand, I see their allure in telling the entire story in such a short run time, and I believe it takes a level of skill to be able to pull it all off. On the other, I don’t see a lot of point to them because why waste the money and time/talent on such a short piece when all of those resources and effort could be put into a feature length film. I know I’m in the minority with this thinking, and I am, in no way, a filmmaker myself, however I am still entitled to my opinion. Regardless, every so often a short film will come along that really blows my mind, and is as effective as a feature length film. A DEATH STORY CALLED GIRL is one of those shorts.
With a runtime of barely 13 minutes, DEATH is visually and audibly stunning. Starring Livvy Bennett (in her debut role) as Bambi, there is absolutely no dialogue, with Bambi telling her story with an impressive soundtrack and score. We meet her as she is waking up for the morning, getting ready to leave for the day, and packing a lunch of greens shoved into a backpack. We have no idea where she is going once she hops on her bike, and stops to enjoy a bloody lunch, but we soon find out. This is just a glimpse into the world of Bambi. What happens next will make you question humanity.
A DEATH STORY CALLED GIRL is the directorial debut by filmmaker Bas-Tzion Beahan (aka Nathalia Margot Pizarro), who also wrote, produced and edited the short, in conjunction with her production company, Manimal Films (an extension of the record label, Manimal Records). We have Joshua Cristales to thank for the beautiful cinematography, and Michelle Diaz for the impressive practical effects. It’s very rare that I can enjoy a movie with little to no dialogue, and only a few come to mind, such as Flowers (Phil Stevens), Guerilla (Shane Ryan) and this one. Supposedly the first entry into a trilogy of short films exploring violence through the “female gaze,” it offers one sole girls perspective on violence and isolation. And I can’t wait to see more.
Be sure to be on the lookout for A DEATH STORY CALLED GIRL as it does the festival circuit.