When Political Gets Personal

When Political Gets Personal
Filmmakers are a political bunch and seem to be gravitating ever closer to a uniform Communist ideologue, which is both amusing and scary, especially considering the whole Joseph McCarthy thing and, well, Sean Penn.

Almost every short in this bunch delves into this subject matter, preaching the exploitations of the working class and the blindness of the masses that are led by corrupt, machine-like political leaders. It's all very undergraduate.

Respectably without subtlety, the program starts out with "Painting Red Square," which details the controversy of, quite literally, a red square painted on the floor of a Whitehorse watering hole where the working class unite. It's about as good as it sounds. "The Employment" is a clever and amusing animated short about the banality of a culture that prides itself on profession as self-definition and the nature of class systems.

"Up and About Again" lets us know that we're all blind, stupid cattle by blaring angry Finnish metal while a car with painted windows drives around aimlessly. Less angry and quirkier is "Victory Electrique," wherein a Mexican man proves exploitable by his family and community, even after death, as an electrical conduit. It's funny because male responsibility is self-imposed.

From Iceland comes "The Nail," where a politician gets a nail in his head and resultantly acts on his base animal urges, which include, but are not limited to, rape. It's funny because politicians are passionless robots and power corrupts. Extending an offering of hope amongst world corruption is "Robes of War," which is one of those visual transformation animations about war and religion that's highly allegorical.

"Black Heart" is an experimental documentary short about loss, which focuses on a man whose house burnt down, a woman whose marriage failed and a nimrod. The account of the failed marriage and interspersed footage makes this one of the more engaging inclusions in this program.

Finishing things off is "Slaves," where two children detail their experiences of enslavement at the hands of the Sudanese militia. If you want to feel a little bit worse about the world, and maybe a bit of nausea, this is the short for you.