'Brotherhood' Live Action Short Review: Family & the Cruel World

The sorrowful story takes center stage despite the masterful cinematic craft at display.
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Brotherhood could have been a minimalistic tale of a family confronting a circumstance, which although it appears to bring joy, has a severe flip side to it, both repercussions in contrariety to each other. When the eldest son of the family, Malek returns home after spending a year in Syria, should the family exult the recrudesce of their son, or bemoan the veracity and cower from the possible consequences?

Without restricting to this question, which evidently facade the narrative, the film goes deeper and beyond. It's the father's internal turmoil as he thwarts being rived between his family and his moral principles that is explored in this harrowing tale. It's brilliant how the film embraces the physicality of the atmosphere. The violent winds besieging the serene landscape anticipate the startling ending right from the opening moments. 'The calm before the storm' befits most of the film.

When we first meet Mohamed, the head of the family, he is amidst the process of realizing that a wolf pack attacked a sheep that escaped from the fold. The escaped sheep lies at the brink of death when Mohamed asks his younger son to relieve it of the anguish by stabbing it in the chest. There underlies one of Mohamed's moral; if you know it's gone, then there is no point in trying to save it. This mirrors his choices which leads to a devastating conclusion. But hey, don't complain you didn't see it coming. Unlike the youngest son of the family, Rayene, whose innocence and ignorance of the world collapses his future which we never get to see. But for Mohamed, it is aforethought, however drastically it differed from his expectation.

Brotherhood can be a true story, a silenced story that had no voice to be told aloud until Meryam Joobeur made this. There could be a family in Tunisia moaning at the moment for losing a member of their family. The bondage of a family is unsaid, yet conspicuous backed by the performance of Mohamed Grayaâ, who plays Mohamed, the father, generates assorted thoughts just with a glance at his son and his wife, a young pregnant Syrian girl. His eyes articulate suspicion, agony, fear, anger, and primarily the phrase, "Son, I raised you. And you broke my heart by doing whatever you did. Yet, you are my son."

I discern that I'm going too far by channelling and expressing my emotions or views on one specific character through the other character, but only great cinema makes us do it. Going further the masterful cinematic craft at the display, it's the story that resonates and stays for a long time. The story suffused with pain and sorrow pierces through geographical and linguistic boundaries while admonishing the world that we, as humans, have created.

On January 29, ShortsTV will debut THE 2020 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS at the IFC Center in New York City and in select markets, and then roll out across the US and Europe on January 31.  This marks the 15th consecutive year of the Oscar Nominated Short Films theatrical experience. It is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the short film nominees in theaters before the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday February 9, 2020. They will also made available via on demand platforms, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and Vimeo on Demand. The release ensures the greatest number of viewers can see all the nominees before the ceremony, while providing short filmmakers with an unprecedented opportunity to commercialise their movies.   Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations according to their category of nomination: Live Action, Animation, or Documentary

For a full list of theaters the short films are playing in, visit:

https://shorts.tv/theoscarshorts/theatrical-release/

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