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The Voice at London Short Film Festival: Women On The Verge

PERSPECTIVE: F Word Dir. Savanah Leaf

WHAT WOULD you do if you had to choose between yourself and your husband? Being submissive to an unappreciative boyfriend or reclaiming your self worth and kicking him to the curb? Those are the questions asked and answered in Women On The Verge, a collection of 8 short films, that question what women will do when pushed to new boundaries.

The short films began with the cinematic Things That Fall From The Sky, which focuses on the interaction between two strangers who interact under questionable circumstances. After a swan flies into a power line, a muddy man is injured and a wondering woman helps him – well plans to. The short film plays on the interaction between the two strangers as the woman tries to help the man, but things become progressively awkward, and the woman begins to feel uneasy.

This is clearly represented in the scene where they need to access the man's car, but it's parked far from where they are. As the woman tries to get the keys from the man's pocket – since he has a broken arm – he becomes aroused, resulting in an awkward interaction between the two which was brilliantly captured on scene. As she finds the car, she has to make a decision; whether to drive to where the injured man is, or drive off. While she has helped him to the point where he is ok, she begins to wonder whether the man could be a possible threat to her.

This pattern of a woman putting herself first is a continuous theme throughout the short films, from Lula which centres on a Polish woman in 1944 who must put herself and her baby above her Polish resistance husband who is on the run for the Nazi's, to the moving short film F Word, where a young black woman writes a frank letter to her absentee father.

Each short film is captured brilliantly, from various different perspectives and diverse backgrounds. One of the highlights from Women On The Verge was Seeds, a sci-fi British short film, directed by Guillaume Fradin. The story focuses on a female astronaut who trains for an expedition, and is selected for a final test which will see her isolated from civilisation for a year. Her decision to go through this test doesn't bode well with her brother who is adamantly against it, but she believes this mission is bigger than herself and even her family, ultimately deciding to follow through on her mission.

The feminist angle to Women On The Verge ranges from comical to emotional, and brilliantly shows women in positions where they are their own number 1 priority without feeling guilty or unworthy of being number one. Both progressive and honest.

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