Eye For Film >> Movies >> Cargo (2007) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
It’s not every day that a director opts to shoot his master thesis project both in a strange country and a language that isn't his mother tongue – so New Zealander Leo Woodhead should be congratulated on his bravery in choosing Prague as the location for this short.
Being dislocated from expectations, however, is what this powerful drama is all about. A boy and his mother are in a van, being transported like so many illegal immigrants, with hopes and dreams for the future. The trafficker has other, more nefarious, ideas – and yet even in this environment it seems, at least initially, that there is room for pitying the children.
Viewer expectations, like that of the immigrants, are confounded as the hard-hitting consequences of this bleak act of humanity play out. Woodhead has said that he couldn’t shoot the film anywhere else other than the Czech Republic and “be realistic”. He has certainly achieved what he set out to do, since the harsh reality smacks you in the face, thanks to a suitably sparse script and bleak cinematography by Martin Preiss.
The only downside is that the runtime is a little short to fully believe the moral downslide depicted, though in terms of visually storytelling, Woodhead is to be commended.Reviewed on: 12 May 2008