Some movie directors have a vision, an idea, a message they are so passionate about that their entire work reflects that passion. In their films, the characters and events have a significance beyond the context of the story and, if they are successful, the audience will pick up the subtle nuances and comprehend the idea, the all- embracing message.
That is the case with the 2012 Eli Sokhn short-firm Green Is Red. Using a creative mixture of 3D animation, archive footage (I recognized snippets from Charlie Chaplin’s final speech in The Great Dictator) and the realities of the present day, Sokhn shares his take on war and the impact it has on a young boy, his family and humanity as a whole.
While the message does get across, I found that the characters in the film [Jeremy (Nathan Blaiwes) - an impish six-year-old, his troubled father (a war veteran) and mother] and the interrelation between them could have been better developed. Such an observation may be deemed inappropriate for a short film that has only limited time to make the audience aware of and intrigued with the story. But as one is able to grasp the film’s theme and its powerful anti-war message, reminding the viewer of the importance of protecting the innocence of a child in the hypocritical reality of the modern world, I understood the story without the need to read the synopsis provided in the press-kit of the film.
On the technical side, the cinematography of Green is Red was not disappointing. Both the indoor and the outdoor scenes were well lit, the stop- motion scenes effective and the editing was delightful making a seamless transition between the fantasy world of a child’s imagination and the real world. Shaky hand-held camera shots added spontaneity to some scenes, even if I found them a bit out of place from the overall mood of the film.
Kids grow up with our guidance and support. The reality we create for them today may become their reality of tomorrow.
In the end, I appreciated the message that Eli Sokhn presented in Green is Red and I don’t hesitate to recommend the film to anyone interested in a creative and artistic approach to storytelling. Green is Red was selected for the Cannes festival in 2012.
We would like to thank Eli Sokhn for providing a review copy of his film to TheSkyKid.Com. At the time of this writing, Green is Red is still making the festival circuit rounds and you can find more information about it at the film’s Facebook fan page and its IMDb entry.