of this as what happens after the famous 1984
Apple commercial. Big Brother has
fallen. Unfortunately, Henry Dremmel is
no Winston Smith. Adjusting to a
post-dystopian world will be difficult for him in Sacha Feiner’s short film A Better World (trailer here), which screens
during the 2013 Brooklyn Film Festival.
the tool, works for the Domestic Denunciation Program. All days he monitors security cameras,
reporting even the slightest deviations from the norm. One fateful night, Dremmel wakes to the sound
of fireworks. The regime has
fallen. Freedom has broken out, but the
Denunciator cannot handle it. He prefers
the structure of his drab, harshly regimented former existence.
are unlikely to see a film more explicitly associating the compulsive need for
security with oppressive statism in a month of Sundays. What’s even more mind-blowing is that it
hails from Belgium, the EU’s happy host nation.
Regardless, writer-director Feiner really cuts to the heart of the
matter. Dremmel is not an odious
villain. A pathetic figure, he is the
final victim of a de-humanizing collectivist system.
Better World is also quite an
impressive looking production. Olan
Bowland’s bleak, washed-out cinematography and Julia Irribaria’s imposing sets create
a perfectly Orwellian environment.
Almost a prop himself, Vincent Kohler is appropriately cringey and
clammy as Dremmel.
Despite its twenty-four minute running time, A Better World has more to say than most
features. A genuinely challenging work
(especially for Williamsburg hipsters), it is one of the best dystopian films
of any length to hit the festival circuit.
Very highly recommended, it screens this coming Monday (6/3) and Wednesday
(6/5) as part of the 2013 Magnetic edition of the Brooklyn Film Festival.
Labels: Belgian Cinema, BFF '13, Dystopian Cinema, Short Films