Written by Ram Venkat Srikar
A Sister is a film that relies heavily on the atmosphere. It’s a dark film, literally. A moving car on a freeway at midnight is the vehicle for the film. The story begins and ends in approximately 17 minutes. There’s isn’t anything like a narrative or story here. A woman in possible danger calls emergency services where the employee, another woman, has to help her. What sets the stakes high is that the caller is not in a situation that could have catastrophic results, but the call she makes could be her only chance in preventing the disastrous consequences, which neither she nor we have any idea about. Plus, she doesn’t have the liberty to express her situation as her attacker is right beside her in a moving car. Pretty high stakes, even though it’s just a man and woman, and there is no weapon in sight.
Two minutes into the Delphine Girard’s film, I knew it was an anxiety inducer. Such is the brilliantly built tension, which is a true masterclass building up with minimal resources. Absolutely minimal, I repeat. The titular character, the sister, is, in fact, the emergency services worker who now has to save the life of a stranger. In addition, it is a professional commitment as opposed to personal. Through their conversations, there is the development of subtle yet strong bonding because that is the need of the hour. We never get to know the emergency worker’s name for that matter, just like the caller. And we never get to see her face clearly because the emergency worker doesn’t.
I would love to see where their relationship goes after the film ends. That’s how invested and hooked the film had me, even though I barely know them. A Sister is a brilliant exercise of inducing anxiety. In bonus, it makes you care for the characters in the little span, which by itself is an achievement.
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.