As I’ve no doubt stated in other short film reviews, this particular method to film-making is always a curious way to move towards something bigger but I do also believe it can be just as difficult to hone the focus with such a short space of time to tell a complete story. Colin Gerrard‘s Eli doesn’t hang around with its messages, nor under-deliver, and is definitely worth taking time out for as it’ll soak into your memory for days afterwards, as it did for me.
To begin, we see an old Jewish man arriving at a Doctor’s surgery, waiting for his appointment and whilst it is his turn next, a loud-mouthed woman who’s also been waiting takes it as a personal vendetta and blames foreigners with the usual xenophobic, under-educated crass reasons. But thankfully this isn’t about her, it’s the story of Eli, the old Jewish man (portrayed tremendously by David Gant) who’s seen things, and been a part of things, that no man or woman should ever want to see, or go through. After being pushed towards reacting, he cries out and takes us back through the history of his younger life, of being thrown into a concentration camp and of losing his young dignity to the many atrocities.
Eli is a short, yet intensely real, story that’s incredibly touching whilst still remaining clever and subtle, the tale makes the viewer question not just their own beliefs, but reminds you to consider others lives. In a modern world of heightened over-reaction that finds people getting dragged down into their own drama, Eli reminds you that something quite as simple as waiting an extra ten minutes for an appointment requires some logical perspective.
It can never be understated that one of the hardest things to do with any story is give it everything it deserves and this is especially true, and relevant, with Eli – Very much recommended, find out more below.
Eli is screening at film festivals now – Head here for more elifilm.co.uk