Director: David Waronja
Producer: Njuguna Ng’ang’a
Main cast: Peter Nyanjui
Running time: 5 minutes
A young man is set to look after his sick sister after having to let go of the house-help. He has crafted a life support system for his sister that is powered by a truck. He runs out of the fuel and has to try other ways to power the device or risk loosing his sister.
The short film scripted by David was specifically made for a film Mobile film competition by the Kenya film Commission. After nominations, the selected films were posted on YouTube for the audience to watch and vote for the film they liked. On the very first day, the film Automedic picked a buzz. People did not just watch it,they went to the extent of sharing and recommending it to others. It’s easy to see why it has so many views on YouTube.
This short Kenyan film is exceptional as it manages to layer the three act structure in a very short time on a film whose theme strongly depends on a moment rather than a story line. The moment here is the brother is on a ticking time bomb as he has to find a way to power the device or risk loosing his little sister. This paints a raw and honest picture of the extent people go to take care of a loved one. This concept makes it possible for the film to fit the general public as the target audience for it strikes a chord in the audiences of all backgrounds. During this tough covid 19 times, the film encourages innovation and reminds us that we all have a role to play in the health care system in Kenya rather than sitting back and waiting for the government to do everything. This film thanks all the people seen on the news (also those that we haven’t seen) making various versions of the ventilator to help in the shortage of ventilators which are very much needed by covid 19 patients who have severe cases.
WHAT STOOD OUT.
Being a Mobile film competition, the picture quality of the video will definitely make you question whether it was shot on a Mobile phone. Better yet, the whole film is shot on a single take! That makes the film unique and rich and also achieves to move emotionally with the audience while capturing the beauty and tension at the same time.
The main actor, gives a very natural performance which is aided by using his local language (kikuyu) and makes the dialogue honest and easy. Thanks to the subtitles, non kikuyu speakers are not left out.
For a one take film, Blocking the scene is key. I loved how the film made use of the space, time and pacing which captured the aesthetics of the setting. The choice to have the scene as an exterior was a genius one.
Props. The use of props really stood out. Improvisation was on another level. Medical equipment, especially using the phone as the IV drip monitor or something like that is just genius. How the connected the UPS to the car made a lot of sense and looked so practical. The set design and also the costume helped so much with characterization. They surely worked on all departments and one can feel the determination of the team to win the competition. Go big or go home aye!
The film score serves it’s purpose at it’s best by setting the tone of the film. The title of the film is Creative.
V E R D I C T
This is a boundary breaking film which is visually engaging and should definitely be in more awards considerations.. It however has little flaws for example, the brother reacts before the alarm beeps. Also in the beginning, the good quality sound lacks the distance perspective. The guy talking on the phone is far yet we hear him as if he’s so close.
Take out: as a filmmaker,the film challenged, motivated and inspired. I shouldn’t just do the ordinary. As an ordinary human being, I should take calculated risks.
S C O R E