A Quiet Morning

By Justin Suttles | Drama
A man grapples with the consequences of one terrible choice.

A man wanders through a desolate, empty house, lost in thought and grappling with both a harrowing crisis and a monumental decision. He has experienced something unthinkable and traumatic within his family, and can’t let go of its haunting impact.

As he drifts from room to room, he sifts through many complicated emotions, makes one final phone call and then embarks on a course of action that will forever change his life.

Writer-director Justin Suttles has carefully constructed a meditative psychological portrait of a fulcrum in one man’s life. Self-contained and restrained, the storytelling essentially elongates the moment before the main character’s “point of no return,” a decision that will take him from the edge of a precipice into a void of darkness.

On the surface, the film is slow and quiet, with deliberate camera movements, long takes, and wide shots that capture an empty house bathed in foreboding shadows. It’s also populated by one actor as he haunts the space, wandering from room to room lost in memories and thoughts.

The stripped-down production makes for a minimalist cinematic experience, but the short does a lot with its pared down elements. And the aesthetics stand in contrast to the volatile emotions and situation at the heart of the film’s story, which don’t fully reveal themselves until the very end, in all its horror and devastation.

“A Quiet Morning” sets up an experience that’s essentially about interiority, and the surfaces of the film are full of silence and stillness. But underneath the empty spaces is a dark current of violence, and when it finally surfaces, it will leave viewers unnerved and unsettled, grappling with larger questions about justice, forgiveness and even faith in the world and fellow humankind as a whole.

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