In the light of the world cup football in Russia, this week’s Short Shot tells the family history of a boy and his mom and their struggle in post-Soviet Russia. Dealing with corruption, violence against women and intolorance to gay men, they move to the USA after his mom became a mail-order bride. Getting involved in another unforseen situation, they stick together, all the way to the happy end.
The documentary short won the 2017 SXSW Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short. It’s a jaw-dropping, inspiring and quite extensive life story of the filmmaker and his mom, told in just under 14 minutes. Since there was no actual footage to use to illustrate the events that Hurley and his mom talk about, they use tv-images and animation and projection techniques that give the film a very special and unique character. It also adds an extra layer to the story, since the used footage comes from old American movies, which refers to the filmmakers childhood and his dreams of a better future.
I think now more than ever we need stories that inspire people to fight, to survive, to follow their dreams and to thrive despite of everything that’s going on in the world. Most importantly, I wanted to put things in perspective and show that the American Dream is alive and well for many immigrants like myself and my mom, despite of all the bullshit you hear about it being “dead.”
This short was also made into an interesting 360-degree film, called Potato Dreams. This Vr experience was one of the eight films that was shown in the VR Cinema program at Go Short 2018. Much like the documentary short it cleverly combines the narration with different scenes and spatial techniques that are simultaniously presented to the spectator an illustrate the story being told.