Eye For Film >> Movies >> Boneshaker (None) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
The magic hour setting - the glow of the remains of the day - infuses this short film from Nuotama Frances Bodomo and reflects the halfway state its young protagonist finds herself in.
Blessing (Quvenzhané Wallis, who Bodomo had heard about from friends who were working on Beasts Of The Southern Wild, in which the youngster would shoot to fame), has unnamed behavioural problems that Bodomo plunges us into during the first moments of this short. Her high-pitched meltdown in the back of her grandfather's car is accompanied by loose but intimate handheld camerawork from Joshua James Richardson, who would himself go on to greater fame along with the 1st assistant director of this short, Chloé Zhao, with the likes of The Rider and Nomadland.
Blessing is caught between the beliefs of her gran (Caroline Idakula), which have taken her and her sister Willie (Playshena Rose Williams) on a road trip in search of a church for a spiritual cure, and her grandfather's (Moussa Koné) insistence that she should just take medication. There's a sense here of the promise and newness of the youngsters, caught in more ways and one part way through a journey, not just to find the church but also in search of what will become their own identity. Blessing represents both acquiescence and rebellion and the tension between the two.
This is a fluid film which, though impressionistic in terms of its narrative, carries a weight of emotion and the positive energy of childhood as well as a longing for fundamental connection. Beyond the cinematographic craft, there is excellent work in all departments, particularly in the costuming from Sarah Williams - who most recently did sterling work on The Forty-Year-Old Version - which finds both contrast and dialogue between the lemon-coloured Sunday best of Blessing and the denim blues of Willie.Reviewed on: 22 Dec 2021