Xavierpop Does #WSFF12 – @MovieJay Reviews ‘The Family Compact” Programme

Familial dynamics take the spotlight in The Family Compact (88 min) in a set of 8 shorts that examine tradition, loss, memory, and coming-of-age, among other themes.


Liar (8 min) gets things started and shows Canadian Adam Garnet Jones to be a capable dramatic director with this piece about a teenager who gets dumped by her boyfriend after he comes out to her. Her older sisters escalate the tension when they exact revenge on the young man.

Hellion (6 min) from U.S. director Kat Candler is equally assured in this dark comedy about a young boy and his trouble-making brothers, who catch a whoopin’ when dad comes home to find mom duck-taped to their trailer.

Peter Mullan (War Horse, Tyrannosaur) lends his grizzled face to Long Distance Information (8 min), a very perceptive and wryly funny slice-of-life that reveal a mundane universality in father-son relationships. Mullan’s face in the last shot is priceless.

Turbulence (22 min) is a very compelling straightforward Tunisian drama about a teenaged girl who comes home from a party badly beaten. We spend time with her mother and brother as they try to get to the bottom of what happened. It’s a simple story that reveals the complexities in a situation where religious orthodoxy turns the victim of the crime into the bad one, as if the girl deserved what happened to her because she is a girl. It’s a riveting short deserving of a feature.

The best short in this program is Lack of Evidence (9 min), a French production that recounts the horrifying story of a Nigerian man whose application for refugee status in France was denied due to the fact that he could not prove his story, which is that his father killed his twin brother in a ritual sacrifice because of that tribe’s belief that twins are born with evil spirits. Narration from the French bureaucrat who tried to help the man is used to tell the story while an innovative montage of computer generated images take us through a dramatization of events using only landscapes and our imaginations. Sad and brutal.

Little Brother (7 min) is an absorbing account of a hearing-impaired older brother and the transit ride he and his wheelchair-bound, special needs younger brother take across town. He loves his younger brother, but at times he turns his hearing aid off in order to escape from the sounds he sometimes finds annoying from the little guy. A wonderful short about escape and connection.

Belly (7 min) is a fascinating animated allegory out of the UK with half human, half animal people as it follows the coming-of-age of a younger brother (an elephant) and the things he must leave behind in his youth.

From Denmark, the series concludes with another slice-of-life drama in Me Without You (21 min) about older sister Metha’s preparation to move to Japan for school and her sweet younger brother No, who is left having to pick up the pieces after hearing this news.

– MovieJay

Check out our coverage of the WorldWide Short Film Festival:

– Next Up A Look At the ‘Iron Ladies’ Programme
– Xavierpop Covers ‘The Love Hurts’ Official Selection
– A Break-Down The ‘Who’s Your Dada?’ Programme
– MovieJay Reviews The Opening Night Gala: Winners From Around the World
– The @xvrpop Ultimate Worldwide Short Film Fest Preview
– The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival’s Screenplay $50,000 Giveaway is Back!