Yad Deen‘s attention-grabbing short film Carga is beautifully shot and staged throughout, his film follows young Spanish couple Marta (Tania Watson) and Juan (Agustin Mateo), who have headed off to Iraq in order to investigate and explore an old abandoned cigarette factory, which is rumoured to have something to do with the Saddam regime. Marta is a documentary maker and looking for some good shots and stories, and she’s aided by her boyfriend Juan.
To get out there, which is in a safe zone away from troubles, they’re assisted by Ahmed (Rawand Khalid Saeed), a local man who knows the area and drives them to their chosen destination. On the way there, they’re stopped by a suspicious-esque security man, which cleverly builds early tension, and once they arrive at the factory, things get a little stranger with certain decisions and situations – without giving too much away! – but there’s a smart intensity growing.
While the setup is definitely different to other short films in this horror/thriller genre, it’s not unusual for people to go off to find unique, abandoned places and especially those people who love exploring old places or ghost towns that show the echoes of lives gone before. In truth, this is something I’d love to do but before I digress, I really connected with that side of the narrative.
Carga also features some exquisite shots and framing, offering both the dusty roads of Iraq as vast, bright and empty, which contrasts with the factory which is dark, enclosed and foreboding. While the nature of the big finale almost happens a little too quickly, considering most of the film is the lead up to these moments, it probably could have done with more ‘intense’ sequences, despite a very visually effective scene that involves a whole lot of heat.
Carga holds a wonderful mysterious nature but it’s also unsettling because of an underlying unknown lingering. This is backed up by good performances from Tania Watson and Agustin Mateo who are believable in the basics of their characters, which is vital in short films. Despite that aforementioned, speedy resolution, the film offers an intriguing impact and this is a short film that certainly stands out with its original subject matter and high quality production.
Find out the latest news on Carga screenings here: twitter.com/cargafilm and via the Director Yad: twitter.com/yaddeen
Also, check out the trailer below: