A Short Guide To Re-entry

****1/2

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

A Short Guide To Re-entry
"It is well observed, constructed, the small moments of and with consequence feel authentic, inescapable."

The questioner is behind battered plastic, the architecture of confinement - uniforms and checklists. "Have you got a job to go out to?", "a course, education", "somewhere to live?" The answers the same, brief, negative. "Good to go".

This is about "breaking the cycle", about become a participant in "a different hustle". This is neither straight nor narrow. It twists, flutters like litter in the wind, and expands. There are others in the training group, other lives that are the faces of statistics about redemption, rehabilitation, re-offending. It is well observed, constructed, the small moments of and with consequence feel authentic, inescapable.

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There is a confrontation in a kebab shop, accident and then intent in a supermarket, a blend of filmic utility and grim futility. All in the detail, tone, colour, pose, poise, from the whiteboard with professional misspelled to the glint of red on linoleum, crossed wrists, glazed eyes. Writer/director Anwar Boulifa's film is a mechanical engine of despair, a lean and efficient construct depicting the erosion of opportunity, of the winnowing of chances by choices both made and made for. Salvation in the form of a kebab shop, a plastic bag, a man in a suit bickering with a man in a tracksuit, a bin-bag of belongings on a scrawny shoulder, a purse on a sitting room table, a twitching lack of equilibrium that persists until it hits a state that is stable. Broken is a steady state as well.

At Glasgow's 2016 Short Film festival A Short Guide to Re-Entry won both the Jury and Audience awarded prizes for International Short. It is a deserving winner, as its power is a product of real talent.

Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2016
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A man finds it difficult to re-integrate into society following his release from prison.

Director: Anwar Boulifa

Writer: Anwar Boulifa

Starring: Ussama El-Houari, Alex Morrison, Kieron Kondel, Shefa Jabr, Tyrone Nestor

Year: 2015

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: UK

Festivals:

GSFF 2016

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