41N Film Festival: Shorts Program #2
The first short film that was shown on Saturday, 5th November, during the 41 North Film Festival at Michigan Tech was Territory directed by Eleanor Mortimer. Territory captured the interactions between the humans and monkeys that inhabit the rock of Gibraltar. The monkeys were there before people began to move into the area. The way the monkeys are presented in the movie makes them seem like unruly troublemakers. The area enlisted people who were in charge of making sure the monkeys kept their distance and didn’t cause any trouble. Even though the film focused on the human and monkey interaction, it also shed light on the growing urbanization of the area. In one scene, a money is sitting atop a ledge looking at the construction site below. Eventually, a proposal was passed to relocate the monkeys from their original habitat to a sanctuary.
The second short film that was shown on Saturday during the 41 North Film Festival at Michigan Tech was El Enemigo directed by Aldemar Matias. El Enemigo captured the fumigation process in Centro Havana, Cuba. The people who inhabit Centro Havana are afraid of having another outbreak caused by mosquitoes. The fumigation team goes around from house to house to inspect the living area. Living spaces where mosquito larvae are found are fined by the fumigation team. The film tries to focus on the “aggressive” work conditions of the fumigation team but it shows more than that. The film also shows instances where team members attempt to commit fraud for pay and turn aggressive against community members. In addition, the film shows the hardships of being fined for not having control over whether or not mosquitoes inhabit the living space and not being able to afford the fine. The ending scene is the most eye opening. A family was fined for having mosquito larvae and was told that their residence needed to be fumigated. The kids in the family were in the middle of lunch when the fumigation team came in and told them to leave. The family did not have enough time to leave the residence before the team began to fumigate the home. The camera went from showing the fumigation of the home to the worker fumigating the small, crowded area. Community members from various ages were breathing in the harsh fumes and attempted to leave the area.
The last short film that was shown on Saturday, 5th November, during the 41 North Film Festival at Michigan Tech was Pickle directed by Amy Nicholson. Pickle was about a couple who rescued and took care of animals, some of whom were disabled. The couple, Tom and Debbie, talked about their paraplegic possum, obese chickens, and a fish they rescued from a pond that couldn’t balance itself. Tom and Debbie has cared for a variety of animals. Each animal they talked about had it’s own unique story and was loved by the generous couple. During one scene of the film, Tom and Debbie are asked about their thoughts on the continued lives of the animals after they pass away. Tom says he thinks everything dies and that’s the end of it. Debbie says she thinks after the animals die their energy lives on. Even though Tom and Debbie has different views about the animal’s’ life after they pass, they both still agree on and are passionate about making the rest of their lives as comfortable and joyous as possible.
Neffertia Tyner, Multiliteracies Center Coach