Blood Runs Down


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Blood Runs Down
"Zandashé Brown's film is taut, as thin and finely balanced as the tain of pre-Liebig mirrors."

Split into chapters, Blood Runs Down is a haunting little tale, a cross-cultural foray into and through a transitional, liminal, powerful little space.

Zandashé Brown's film is taut, as thin and finely balanced as the tain of pre-Liebig mirrors. As uneven, perhaps, as well, in that it is handcrafted rather than industrially applied, full of cottons and candles and peeling paper, unstained furniture and untorn dresses.

There are baptisms, boundaries, sensible shadows and premonitions in the form of bats. Sultana Isham's score is a keyboard heartbeat, drawing us through a piece that opens with off-screen radio sounds, lit with candles of shapes and sizes various. The phone, the cigar, the placement of mirrors, stacked frames in stacked frames. Two, three, more people, eyes seeing, revealing. Small performances, Farrah Martin, Idella John, surface and surface. Zac Manuel's cinematography with a clarity of murk, an oneiric muddiness, small moments in key credits giving another glimpse of good design, costume, production. Kickstarted in part, an element of tricentennial celebrations, this (as home New Orleans) something Gothic, exotic, domestic, inviting. Even into those credits, the skirl of strings, a clap that speeds - any audience listening on the side of dervishes, drawn to give their body motion by some animating spirit.

Its minimal cast, small spaces, sets of transitions put me in mind of something stagier, rhythm as two hander. "what am I finally old enough to do now?" and film as genre is capable of things theatre is not - the eye sees what it is told to see - "don't go digging for it either." Let it unfold for you, in gesture, in look. Let it descend, imply, wash you clean - let a dance of dolls direct you - let your soul be ready for the mansions bright.

Blood Runs Down screened at the 2019 Glasgow Film Festival as part of the Final Girls programme.

Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2019
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Blood Runs Down packshot
When a woman undergoes a frightening transition, her vigilant five year old daughter must decide between saving her or protecting herself.

Director: Zandashé Brown

Writer: Zandashé Brown

Starring: Idella Johnson, Farrah Martin

Year: 2018

Runtime: 18 minutes

Country: US


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