JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Kamali | Liberty | Lost Kings (Directors: Sasha Rainbow, David Ellington, Brian Lawes) - January 14, 2021

Kamali | Liberty | Lost Kings

4.5 4.5

A covey of fascinating shorts

2019, 24 minutes
Sasha Rainbow
Four and one half stars

A love letter to my daughter

In the past few pandemic-laden months, the world has faced many, many hardships, calamities and deaths—all due to an invisible enemy.

But also largely invisible are cultural norms—things are just “done that way because”.

In single mom Suganathi Moorthy’s Indian seaside village world, she bravely comes to terms with problems past and hopes for the future. After reaching puberty, her parents opt to keep their daughter locked down until 17 years of age, when she is forced into an arranged marriage. Its only blessings were the children: precocious Kamali and inquisitive Harish.

Life’s circumstances forever change when Suganathi leaves her abusive husband, only to move back in with her previous “captors”.

Rainbow’s thoughtfully crafted portrayal of survival in India focusses on Kamali’s rise to stardom as a skateboarder/surfer (unheard of just a generation ago) and her mother’s pilgrimage to find solace amongst like-minded strangers.

It’s time well spent exploring ways of life far removed from the failure of MAGA and health-care calamity. The original score from Afrodeutsche—particulary the gentle piano interventions—adds much to the overall tenor and tone of two bold women: the elder discovering herself; the younger being encouraged to do so. JWR

2020, 11 minutes
David Ellington
Four and one half stars

A body of work

Utilizing British Sign Language, poetry (appearing on the screen), a sympathetic supportive score (composer Sam Halmarack’s far-ranging soundscape: thoughtful, energetic and powerful—notably the piano), and one spoken word, Ellington artfully lets his words and body examine the present-day world as he sees and feels it.

It’s an extraordinary achievement that will benefit all viewers from repeated plays, save and except those who choose not to believe their eyes and ears. JWR

Lost Kings
2020, 15 minutes
Brian Lawes
Four and one half stars

Gotta eat

Raising a younger brother, more or less on your own, is no easy task.

Seeing nothing nutritious in the pantry, Zuri (a performance beyond his years from Dash Melrose), strikes out at “lifting” a few things from the local convenience store, only to be shown (inadvertently), how to gain entry into an upscale neighbourhood’s house of riches (the Yamaha grand piano is a nice touch both for its musical and “covering” value).

Backpack full of chow but yearning for more, the no-choice thief finds the lady of the house’s jewellery box even as she and her daughter return.

With too many squeaky doors and floorboards along with a police department that defies all odds in arriving within seconds for “no apparent robbery”, the film, nonetheless delivers a moral knockout punch.

Discovering Zuri, the matriarch’s daughter (Jo Ashley More, equal to the task) is faced with a choice: all is revealed through her visage. See for yourself and hope for more compassion in this challenging world. JWR

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