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2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts (Live Action)

I have learned to enjoy the short films; it is a challenge to tell a story that could consume a full-length movie in an abbreviated period. This year’s nominations come from 4 different countries: United States; Australia; Germany; and the United Kingdom. “Dekalb Elementary” relates the story, inspired by an actual 911 caller, of an armed shooter who enters an elementary school. “The Silent Child” is the story of a young deaf girl neglected by her family who establishes a friendship with the social worker who engages her. “My Nephew Emmett” relates the true story of a man who watched as white racists abduct his nephew in the southern U.S. L.B. Williams is outstanding, and heartbreaking, as the uncle. One of my favorites, “The Eleven O’Clock” provides comic relief (someone sitting next to me remarked, after the third short, “I hope this is the funny one”) as two psychiatrists, one of whom is a delusional patient, spar for control of the session. The film is brilliant in that it is impossible to know who the psychiatrist is and who is patient.  Finally,  “Watu Wote (All of Us)” tells the true story inspired by the clashes between Christians and Muslims living on the border of Somalia and Kenya. I thought this one gave a universal message that reflects the polarization in society. This collection of shorts is superb and demonstrates the power of art to illuminate the issues that affect many of us.

About Gary Burkholder

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